By Gina Passarella
Of the Legal Staff
Pennsylvania Inspector General Kenya Mann Faulkner has resigned from her cabinet post in advance of taking a position as general counsel of the University of Cincinnati, Governor Tom Corbett’s office announced today.
Faulkner will serve in her post in the 243-employee office until March 29. A spokeswoman for the governor said the office doesn't yet know who will replace Faulkner.
“I appreciate Governor Corbett’s confidence and trust in appointing me to this position,’’ Faulkner said in a statement. “I also want to thank all the dedicated employees of the Office of Inspector General for their hard work and support.’’
During 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, the governor’s office said.
Also during her tenure, Faulkner testified before the U.S. Congress regarding the joint state and federal fight against food-stamp trafficking, an area on which the Pennsylvania OIG has focused its efforts, Corbett said in the statement.
“As inspector general, Kenya’s mission was to ensure integrity, accountability and confidence in public programs, employees and contracts. She has worked diligently to exceed that goal,’’ Corbett said in a statement. “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.”
Faulkner was nominated to serve as the state's inspector general in January 2011. Prior to that, she was a partner in Ballard Spahr's litigation, white-collar and government affairs practices.
Before joining Ballard Spahr, Faulkner was an assistant U.S. attorney in the criminal division of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, where she prosecuted numerous fraud cases, including the case of former Philadelphia City Councilman Rick Mariano, who was accused of bribery and corruption. She also prosecuted a New Jersey millionaire convicted in one of the largest-ever international sex-tourism cases. Faulkner also served as a senior deputy attorney general in the Pennsylvania Attorney General's Office drug strike force section and was a Philadelphia public defender.
At the time she was nominated to serve as inspector general, Faulkner credited Corbett with giving her a start as a prosecutor. She moved to Philadelphia after law school and spent six years as a public defender. She wanted to be a prosecutor and applied to the Attorney General's Office in 1996. Corbett eventually interviewed and hired her, Faulkner said.