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The Centre City Development Corp. today unanimously approved a new policy that will require its next president to submit to a rigorous forensic financial analysis of his or her financial interests.

State law already requires such potential conflicts to be disclosed. CCDC, though, will become one of the country’s first agencies to audit those disclosures to ensure they’re accurate and complete.

The scrutiny only applies to one person — whoever is president. While the new requirement will keep CCDC’s top official from turning in incomplete forms, it won’t stop other employees or board members from doing it. The change comes four months after CCDC’s former president, Nancy Graham, resigned amidst questions about her financial relationships and disclosures.

I asked CCDC chairman Fred Maas why the board didn’t require the same disclosure of any other staff members or board members. He said it was because of privacy concerns.

CCDC can require its president to make the disclosures as a condition of employment — allowing the agency to keep any bank statements or tax returns secret and exempt from the state’s open-records law.

But that same exception wouldn’t apply to volunteer board members, Maas said.

Maas said he was willing to submit to such an audit, but did not want his bank records to become public.

“I don’t think with all due respect that I have an obligation to open up my financial records to Ian Trowbridge,” Maas said, referring to the activist.

Maas said CCDC’s next president would have to deal with the fallout from Graham’s departure. Because of that, the person’s integrity should be “unassailable,” Maas said.


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