How to Request an Advisory Opinion
 
Advisory Opinions can be obtained from the Board of Ethics (issues related to the Code of Ethics or Charter Section 1201) and the Charter Board (issues related to the Home Rule Charter and Administrative Code) to provide clarity or additional information about provisions and regulations in either code.  The same process is used for both the Board of Ethics and Charter Board.
 
An Advisory Opinion  is mailed to the Board of Ethics or Charter Board via a written letter on City letterhead, if it is available, and needs to describe in detail the question, issue, potential violation or conflict of interest. However, a request for an Advisory Opinion should not be submitted to question a potential violation that is occurring or has already occurred – violations are handled through the complaint process. 
 
Provide as much detail in the letter as possible so the situation or issue can be thoroughly reviewed and addressed by the board in the Advisory Opinion.  After explaining the situation, ask a question - Is this a conflict of interest?  Is this situation a violation of the Ethics Code?  Has the Charter been violated?  Could there be a potential conflict?  Could you provide clarity on this regulation?
 
Because Board of Ethics and Charter Board members are not City employees, please sign the letter with your name and position title.  The Advisory Opinion request does not require notarization. 
 
Advisory Opinions can be requested only by public officials and employees.  The Advisory Opinion will be relayed directly to the requestor, so be sure to include your contact information.   Advisory Opinions, if helpful to others, are published on the Board of Ethics or Charter Board website. Advisory Opinions are not released directly to the media.  
 
Once the letter is complete, please sign, seal and mail to:
 
Board of Ethics  Charter Board
P O Box 15144 P O Box 12149
Reading, PA  19612-5144  Reading, PA  19612
Letters may also be hand delivered in a sealed envelope to the City Clerk’s office, room 2-21 of City Hall. The sealed envelope will be mailed directly to the proper board.