Administering and implementing Delaware's code of conduct for the executive branch.
The State Public Integrity Commission administers and implements Delaware’s ethics law (Code of Conduct) for the Executive Branch; its financial disclosure law for all three branches; and its lobbyists’ registration and expense reporting laws.
To aid those subject to the law in complying, the Commission issues advisory opinions on a case by case basis; publishes its opinion synopses annually; and offers training through the State Personnel Office’s Training Unit and by scheduling classes with agencies when requested. It also may act on sworn complaints which allege violations of the laws. Procedures for requesting advisory opinions or filing complaints are in the statute and the Commission’s rules.
Ms. Smith was appointed to the Public Integrity Commission on March 26, 2014. Her term expires on March 26, 2021.
Ms. Smith retired from Sussex County government in November 2013, after 44 years of dedicated service. During her employment, Ms. Smith worked her way up the career ladder from an entry level position to become the Director of Data Processing. Ms. Smith developed the computer software used by all County employees.
Ms. Smith received her Associates Degree from Delaware Technical & Community College in Georgetown and was a member of the school’s first graduating class. During the course of her career, she also received several training certificates from IBM.
Ms. Smith has previously served on the Delaware Technical and Community College Advisory Computer Information Systems Board. She has been involved in community activities such as the Lions Club and the Bridgeville Volunteer Fire Company. She attended Chaplain Chapel and is now attending Union United Methodist Church of Bridgeville. Ms. Smith has become a Fund for Women Founder, a Delaware organization that raises funds for various charities throughout the State.
She currently resides with her husband Thomas and their dog Greedy in Bridgeville, Delaware.
William F. Tobin was appointed to complete a few months of the remaining term of former Chair, Barbara Green. Mr. Tobin was reappointed by the Governor in 2013 to serve his own 7-year term which expires in May 2020. He was elected Vice Chair, Policies & Procedures in 2012 and served in that role until he was elected Chairperson in 2014. After completing the maximum 3 year term as Chairperson, he was elected Vice Chair of Personnel in 2017.
Mr. Tobin has served many years in private sector positions, both for-profit and non-profit. His work has included managing budgets of more than $500,000, and other fiscal aspects such as inventory control, asset management and audit reviews. He is presently a credit manager and safety director for George Sherman Corporation, Lewes, Delaware. He also has an extensive background in sales, and trained and mentored new and existing sales staff.
His public sector experience ranges from 7 years of active duty in the U.S. Coast Guard, where he developed extensive emergency management skills, to training fire company members on Small Boat Handling in conjunction with the Delaware State Marine Police.
He has long been an active member and officer of organizations in the fire and rescue areas, serving as Treasurer and Co-Chair of the Fire and Rescue Boat Committee, Memorial Fire Company; Sussex County Technical Rescue Team as the Finance and Budget Executive, and member of the Delaware State Fire Police and Indian River Fire Company; and Executive Administrator, assistant treasurer, finance Board member of Georgetown American Legion Post #8, Ambulance State #93.
Aside from his interest in fire and safety, he is active in his community as Treasurer, Lower Delaware Shield and Square; American Legion Post #5 member; St. John’s Masonic Lodge member; DE Consistory member, and Nur Temple member.
Commissioner Tobin resides in Harbeson, Sussex County, Delaware.
Mrs. Whetzel was confirmed as a Commissioner on June 15, 2016 for a seven-year term expiring in 2023. Mrs. Whetzel was elected Vice Chair of Policies & Procedures in 2016 and 2017.
Mrs. Whetzel has lived in Delaware since 1976. She graduated from Newark High School and earned a degree in Finance and Economics from the University of Delaware. After college she worked in financial services and was a Trust Officer with American Guaranty & Trust Company. In 1993 Mrs. Whetzel chose to stay at home with her two (now adult) children. She became active in their schools, the neighborhood, and the greater community through charitable and volunteer activities. Mrs. Whetzel is currently the Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer for her family’s property management business, Thinking Eye Dog, LLC.
For over 25 years Mrs. Whetzel has been an active volunteer in the nonprofit sector, serving on the Ministry of Caring Guild Board (treasurer), the New Castle County Adopt-a-Family Board, and the Delaware Community Foundation Board. She recently completed a two-year term as Chair of the Fund for Women and has held other offices on the organization’s board since 2008. During her term as Chair the Fund increased its membership by 28% from 1,297 members to 1,660, the largest increase since the organization was founded in 1993.
In addition to the board activities, Mrs. Whetzel also volunteers for Kind to Kids and Child, Inc., serves as an advisor for the Delaware Community Foundation’s New Castle County Youth Philanthropy Board, and is on the steering committee for ERANow. She also represents the Fund for Women on the Delaware Grantmakers Association and is starting her 10th year as a mentor through Creative Mentoring at Shue-Medill Middle School.
Mrs. Whetzel and her husband Robert reside in Newark.
Mr. Gonser was confirmed to serve a seven-year term on the Commission in June 2011, with his term ending in June 2017. In 2012, he was elected to serve as Vice Chair, Personnel.
Mr. Gonser is a partner in the law firm of Gonser and Gonser in Wilmington. He is experienced in all aspects of Family Court matters from divorce, property division, custody and visitation, to paternity issues, guardianships and adoptions. He currently serves as Chair of the Family Law Section of the Bar Association and was Voted 2012 Top Family Law Attorney in Delaware Today.
For two years while working on his law degree at Widener University School of Law, he was on the school’s law journal, Delaware Corporate Law. After graduating cum laude in 2004, he clerked for the Honorable Jan Jurden, Delaware Superior Court. He also was a judicial extern in the U.S. District Court for the Honorable Sue L. Robinson. He is admitted to practice in all Delaware Courts, the U.S. District Court (Delaware), and the U.S. Supreme Court.
His undergraduate degree is in English from the University of Delaware, where he received the Division I Men’s Soccer Letterman’s Award.
Mr. Gonser is actively engaged in legal and non-legal activities. He is a volunteer attorney for the Legal Self-Help Center and volunteers as a Guardian ad Litem for children in Delaware’s foster care system. He also is a member of the Delaware State Bar Association and the Melson-Arsht Inns of Court.
Mr. Gonser resides in Wilmington with his wife and five children.
Mr. Manus was confirmed as a Commissioner on March 28, 2018, for a seven year term expiring in March 2025.
Mr. Manus received his undergraduate degree from the University of New Hampshire and his Master’s degree from Texas A&M University.
Mr. Manus’ very active retirement includes managing his wife’s family farm. As part of his management duties he practices land stewardship of forested tracts and rehabilitates and repurposes old farm outbuildings. In his spare time he enjoys being a hobbyist woodworker.
Prior to his retirement, Mr. Manus was the Director of Conservation Programs at The Nature Conservancy in Milton, Delaware from 2004-2014. As Director he managed conservation stewardship operations and land protection staff and assisted staff in promoting ecological restoration/management projects and private lands protection strategies.
From 2002-2004, Mr. Manus was the Director of the Ducks Unlimited, Inc., Conservation Programs, Chesapeake Bay and Delaware Bay, Mid-Atlantic Field Office, Stevensville, Maryland. In that role he directed and delivered conservation programs in the five state Mid-Atlantic region while also supervising six staff habitat restoration specialists.
Mr. Manus worked for the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (“DNREC”) from 1990-2001. He was the Deputy Director of the Divisions of Soil and Water Conservation and Water Resources for three years before being appointed Director of the Division of Fish and Wildlife, a position he held for eight years. Mr. Manus was responsible for providing leadership and strategic direction for the Division of 126 full-time employees, 75 seasonal workers and a volunteer corps of 300 individuals. He provided direction to scientists and other professional staff in the development of research, regulatory, planning and enforcement programs designed to manage and conserve the fish, wildlife and habitat resources of Delaware. Mr. Manus administered an operating budget of $13.5 million, a land acquisition budget of $6.5 million and a capital budget of $2.5 million. In addition, he implemented two legal settlement agreements that totaled $11.5 million.
Between 1980 and 1989, Mr. Manus was Assistant Director and Executive Director of the University of Delaware Sea Grant College Program. He managed the Program through multidisciplinary activities in research, education and technical assistance. Mr. Manus oversaw a budget totaled $2.5 million for a staff of 35.
Mr. Manus has served on numerous boards, commissions and committees related to his love for the outdoors and conservation. A few of those are: Chairman, Atlantic Coast Joint Venture, 2003 -2007; Member Executive Committee, International Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies 1996-2000; President, Northeast Fish and Wildlife Directors Association, 1996-1998; Commissioner, Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission, 1993-2001; Member, Atlantic Flyway Council, 1993-2001.
Over the course of his career Mr. Manus received numerous awards and honors. Some of those include: Atlantic Coast Joint Venture Leadership Appreciation Award, 2007; Ducks Unlimited, Conservation Service Award, 2002; Atlantic Flyway Council Leadership Recognition Award, 2002; USFWS, Region 5 Division of Federal Aid, Certificate of Appreciation, 2002; USFWS, Northeast Region, Certificate of Special Appreciation, 2002; Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission, Outstanding Support Award, 2002; New Castle County Council, Resolution of Appreciation for Outstanding Public Service, 2002; Conservation Foundation Recognition of Appreciation for Commitment to Chesapeake Forest Project, 2001; North American Wetlands Conservation Council Resolution of Appreciation, 2001; Delaware Chapter of The Nature Conservancy’s Conservation Partnership Award, 1999; University of Delaware Public Service Fellowship, 1989.
Mr. Manus resides in Clayton, Delaware (Kent County).
As an independent agency, the Commission appoints its own attorney. 29 Del . C . § 5809(12). Deborah J. Moreau was appointed in June 2013.
A Widener University School of Law graduate (cum laude), Ms. Moreau was a member of the Delaware Journal of Corporate Law. During law school she received two awards for her writing submissions. The Herman V. Belk Memorial Award was given in recognition of excellence in writing for an article written to gain admission to the law review in 2003. In 2004, she received the Donald E.Pease Best Student Article Award. Ms. Moreau’s award-winning article was published in the law review. (Foreign Trade Antitrust Improvements Act: A Three Ring Circus – Three Circuits, Three Interpretations (Delaware Journal of Corporate Law, Vol. 28, No. 3, 2004)). During her third year of law school, Ms. Moreau worked at the Delaware Department of Justice and was provisionally admitted to the Delaware Bar under Delaware Supreme Court Rule 55. That admission allowed Ms. Moreau to prosecute misdemeanor cases in Family Court before graduating from law school.
Ms. Moreau was formally admitted to practice law in Delaware in 2004. She was also admitted to the U.S. Third Circuit Court of Appeals. Ms. Moreau continued her career at the Delaware Department of Justice as a Deputy Attorney General for the Criminal Division. While Ms. Moreau was a prosecutor, she handled hundreds of cases, in a variety of courts. She has practiced in Family Court, the Court of Common Pleas and Superior Court. Her varied caseloads included crimes involving domestic violence, juveniles, sexual assaults, guns, drugs, property, robbery, burglary, and murder. Ms. Moreau’s work as a prosecutor allowed her to gain extensive trial experience.
Ms. Moreau resides in Smyrna, Delaware.