- Associated Press - Tuesday, October 21, 2014

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) - An advisory panel appointed in the wake of a grand jury presentment alleging criminal activity at the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission is recommending changes at the agency.

Commission CEO Mark Compton said Tuesday the panel urges enhanced ethics training for employees and vendors, the appointment of an independent professional to review major project bids and greater transparency in procurement of turnpike services and contracts.

Early last year, state prosecutors charged six people in an alleged pay-to-play scheme in which former state officials wielded control over turnpike contracts to rig bids, profit financially and influence political campaigns. Two others pleaded guilty to separate, minor charges.

Charges against three defendants were dropped or resolved without trials. Still awaiting trial are former commission chairman Mitchell Rubin, former chief executive Joe Brimmeier and former chief operating officer George Hatalowich.

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