The Philadelphia Inquirer ( http://bit.ly/Maoxtt) said it obtained a confidential report that the state Inspector General's Office submitted to the governor's office in late March. A spokesman for the office told the newspaper the matter had also been referred to the state Ethics Commission.
The report names board chief executive officer Joe Conti, member Patrick Stapleton III and marketing director James Short as having accepted gifts and favors, such as wine and tickets to sporting events and golf tournaments.
It alleges that one vendor got Stapleton a round of golf with a pro during a tournament at Aronimink and sent two employees to serve as the official's caddies. The paper said the report also suggests that Conti lobbied a vendor and pressed others inside and outside the agency for jobs for relatives.
Conti, Stapleton, and Short declined to be interviewed through liquor board spokeswoman Stacey Witalec, who said the board had "never been presented with the report or notified of any formal investigation," the Inquirer reported.
"We will be prepared to discuss any details when formally notified," Witalec said.
John Contino, executive director of the Ethics Commission, said his agency neither confirms nor denies the existence of any investigation.
Gov. Tom Corbett said Tuesday he had not seen the inspector general's report and asserted that the alleged activity involved liquor board officials who were appointed or hired before he took office.
Corbett said he has appointed only one of the three board members and doesn't expect to appoint a second member before fall, which would give him a majority on the panel. He made clear that he wants to eliminate the position of chief executive office held by Joe Conti.
"I never saw the reason for the initial appointment of the CEO. I still don't see the reason ... But I need two votes on the board to change that," Corbett said.
Information from: The Philadelphia Inquirer, http://www.philly.com