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Gov. Corbett's office to allow attorney to write column

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Tuesday, July 30, 2013, 7:44 p.m.
 

Gov. Tom Corbett's office has reversed a decision by the state Liquor Control Board that barred one of its attorneys from writing a liquor law column for The Legal Intelligencer.

Corbett's Office of Administration ruled that Alan Kennedy-Shaffer, 28, can pen the quarterly column for the Philadelphia-based law journal as long as he submits a final draft for LCB approval before publication and does not represent his opinions as the LCB's positions.

“Inasmuch as you are employed as an attorney with the PLCB and, as such, are privy to matters involving the PLCB, the Office of Administration is concerned that your writings may create actual or perceived conflicts of interest...” the approval letter states.

The letter goes on to say that, consequently, Kennedy-Shaffer “must be particularly vigilant to avoid all conflicts with the obligations of your public employment and your duties as an attorney.”

Kennedy-Shaffer, of Harrisburg, filed an appeal in late June arguing the agency was violating his right to free speech when it denied his request to write the column without pay. The LCB said the column would conflict with his job responsibilities and could breach attorney-client privilege.

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