May. 13, 2024

HARRISBURG – The Pennsylvania Game Commission (PGC) reached a new nadir this Sunday, advertising a “special meeting” to replace its disgraced executive director a mere 25 hours before the meeting was to be held. Furthermore, the Game Commission did not provide either a time or a means for public comment and participation, another in a series of violations of Pennsylvania’s Sunshine Law, Rep. David Maloney (R-Berks) announced.

“Today’s meeting was the second attempt to anoint Steve Smith as the PGC executive director, again in violation of Pennsylvania’s Sunshine Law. While advertising a Monday meeting 25-hours prior on a Sunday technically complied with one single aspect the law, the abject failure once again to invite or even enable public comment renders this sham meeting null and void, just as Smith’s ‘assumed’ position is null and void,” Maloney said.

Under Pennsylvania law, “public notice” for an open meeting is defined as “Publication of notice of the place, date and time of a meeting in a newspaper of general circulation,” not just posting some words and video in cyberspace.

Pennsylvania’s Sunshine Laws also require that government bodies “shall provide a reasonable opportunity at each advertised regular meeting and advertised special meeting for residents … or for taxpayers … to comment on matters of concern, official action or deliberation which are or may be before the board or council prior to taking official action.” 

The law states the violation of this act requires the PGC Commissioners to be liable for fines and an invalidation of their actions due to their continued violation of state law. (see 65 Pa.C.S. § 713 & 714)

“The continuation of this ordeal is an affront to the sportsmen of Pennsylvania, a disrespect to the ideals of transparent and open government, and a blow to the integrity of the Game Commission,” said Maloney.

Representative David Maloney
130th District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives