John J. Contino
John J. Contino is the Executive Director of the Pennsylvania State Ethics Commission. He was appointed to the position in 1987 after serving as the Commission’s General Counsel. Before joining the Commission, Mr. Contino served as Counsel to the Pennsylvania Crime Commission on matters relating to organized crime and public corruption investigations. He also served as an Assistant Attorney General for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and as an Assistant District Attorney in the City of Philadelphia.
Mr. Contino received a B.A. cum laude from Villanova University. He received his Juris Doctor from the University of Miami School of Law. Mr. Contino is admitted to practice law before the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania; the United States District Court, Eastern District of Pennsylvania; United States Court of Appeals, Third Circuit; the United States District Court, Western District of Pennsylvania and the Supreme Court of New Jersey.
As Director of the Commission Mr. Contino has overseen the administrative and enforcement responsibilities of the Agency for more than twenty-five years. He has successfully litigated numerous matters, both at the administrative trial and appellate levels.
Mr. Contino has also testified as an expert witness in several major public corruption trials.
Mr. Contino serves as a continuing legal education instructor and was a longtime member of the Pennsylvania Bar Association Professionalism Committee. He has served on the Steering Committee and as President of the Council on Governmental Ethics Laws (COGEL), an international professional organization for governmental agencies, organizations and individuals with responsibility or interests in governmental ethics, elections, campaign finance, lobbying and freedom of information laws.
He has lectured extensively on government ethics and related topics throughout the country and was the keynote speaker at a conference on government ethics in Russia in November 2000. In 2002, Mr. Contino traveled to Mexico at the request of the United States Department of State to consult with Mexican state and local governmental officials on anti corruption and government transparency efforts and in 2005 he participated in a similar program for public officials in Latvia. Mr. Contino has also conducted training and evaluation programs for government officials from Thailand, Lithuania and Estonia and the Council of Europe (GRECO). Most recently, at the request of the U.S. Office of Government Ethics, Mr. Contino served as a delegate to the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit in Lima, Peru on combating high level public corruption. In 2005, he was requested by officials from New Jersey and Tennessee to assist in the development of Government reform measures in those states. Mr. Contino received the Council on Governmental Ethics Laws’ Outstanding Service Award for his contributions in the fields of government ethics and lobbying regulation. In 2010, Mr. Contino received the “COGEL Award” for his significant, demonstrable and positive contributions to the field of ethics.