Pa. Inspector General leaves post for position as Univ. of Cincinnati general counsel
Pennsylvania’s inspector general is leaving her watchdog position for a job as the top lawyer at a college in the neighboring Buckeye State. Gov. Tom Corbett’s office recently announced that Inspector General Kenya Mann Faulkner has resigned her cabinet post in order to accept the position of general counsel and vice president for legal affairs at the University of Cincinnati in Ohio. As inspector general, Mann Faulkner was charged with ensuring integrity, accountability and confidence in public programs, employees and contracts. In a statement, Corbett said Mann Faulkner “worked diligently to exceed that goal.” “Kenya has been aggressive in preserving the independence of the Office of Inspector General and protecting the citizens of this state from fraud, waste and abuse in state government,” Corbett stated. Corbett went on to thank Mann Faulkner for her “unwavering commitment to my administration and the Office of the Inspector General,” saying that the woman served the commonwealth with “great distinction and I am extremely proud that the University of Cincinnati has selected her to be its general counsel.” In her own statement, Mann Faulkner, 45, who resides in Ambler, Pa., said she appreciated the governor’s “confidence and trust” in appointing her to the inspector general’s post, and she thanked the dedicated employees of the office under her watch for their “hard work and support.” Under Mann Faulkner’s tenure, the Office of Inspector General qualified the department’s investigators as Certified Fraud Examiners, updated its mission statement to reflect the priorities of teamwork and professionalism, and began a monthly process of publicly releasing the names of those adjudicated for welfare fraud, according to a news release from the governor’s office. During her time at the helm of the Inspector General’s Office, Mann Faulkner also testified before Congress regarding the joint state and federal fight against food stamp trafficking. The Pennsylvania Inspector General’s Office has 243 employees and an annual budget of $26.6 million. Mann Faulkner began her career as a public defender in Philadelphia. She also worked as both a state and federal prosecutor, handling drug, fraud and corruption cases. Mann Faulkner also spent some time in the private sector, conducting internal investigations for government agencies while serving as a partner with the Philadelphia law firm Ballard Spahr. She also served for a time on the Philadelphia Independent Board of Ethics, and has taught law courses at Temple University, West Chester University and the National Institute of Trial Advocacy. The University of Cincinnati announced that Mann Faulkner, who is slated to begin her new job on April 1, and will serve as special assistant to the school’s president pending the finalization of her appointment by the State of Ohio, would eventually report directly to university President Santa J. Ono and serve on Ono’s Cabinet and Executive Committee. “Kenya is more than a gifted attorney and a distinguished leader, she is a change agent with a proven record of making the people and processes around her better,” Ono said in a statement released by the university. “That we can recruit a national leader of her caliber only reaffirms UC’s upward trajectory.” Mann Faulkner earned her law degree from the State University of New York, University of Buffalo Law School. She will officially leave her post as Pennsylvania Inspector General, which she began on Jan. 18, 2011, on March 29.