making local government more ethical

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  1. Book Excerpt 1: Fiduciary Duty

    ... Government ethics codes don’t usually use the term “fiduciary duty.” However, the first substantive provision in ... to a beneficiary, which is the most common use of the term “fiduciary.” The difference is inherent in our form of government. In ...

    Robert Wechsler - 2012-05-31 06:36 - 0 comments

  2. A New Twist on Charity Abuse by Politicians

    ... to call in a few chits. The mayor wants to get rid of the term limits law so he can run for a third term, and who better than respected charity heads to talk the mayor up publicly ...

    Robert Wechsler - 2008-10-20 15:37 - 0 comments

  3. D.C. Council Inappropriately Overrides EC Advisory Opinion

    ... illustrative scenarios, the opinion essentially defined the term "usual and customary constituent services," which is an exception to the ... amending its code of conduct in order to define this same term, but with far more limited language and with no guidance at all. There are ...

    Robert Wechsler - 2014-02-26 10:53 - 0 comments

  4. Elected Officials and Ethics Commissions -- What Tension Between Them Can Lead To

    ... EC independence is. Three EC members were up for term renewal, and two of them were renewed by the mayor. The one that wasn't ... panel's eight-year history to be denied a second four-year term despite a willingness to serve." The council has to approve the new ...

    Robert Wechsler - 2009-07-16 12:59 - 0 comments

  5. Officials Accepting Tickets to Events Where They Have a Ceremonial Function

    ... defined except, occasionally, in advisory opinions. The term is generally used to exclude certain gifts from being either disclosed or ... mayors, and then a minor scandal. A variation of this term is the ceremonial "occasion." Considering the official's function is to ...

    Robert Wechsler - 2010-07-06 10:17 - 0 comments

  6. Paper Tigers

    ... in the area of enforcement. "Window dressing" is one term for such reforms. " Paper tiger " is another. And that's the term employed by Bill Pascoe in his CQ Politics column yesterday. He ...

    Robert Wechsler - 2009-05-28 08:59 - 0 comments

  7. Soft Landings and Other Revolving Door Matters

    ... post-Watergate explosion of government ethics laws. One term that used by someone on the panel was new to me: "soft landing." In ... rather than a problem. Here is a typical use of the term, from a 2006 TPM Muckraker blog post : [O]ver 90 former Homeland ...

    Robert Wechsler - 2010-12-15 15:05 - 0 comments

  8. A Minneapolis Study of Conflicts on Development-Related Boards

    ... at only one issue that might prevent such conflicts:  term limits. It finds that term limits do not reduce the number of conflicts, because conflicts occur ...

    Robert Wechsler - 2013-01-25 15:39 - 0 comments

  9. How ECs Can Preserve Their Full Allotment of Members

    ... But it is not that unusual for an ethics commission, through term endings and resignations, to drop below the number required to hold a ... expressly provide that, when an ethics commission member’s term ends, that member may remain in her seat until an appointment has been ...

    Robert Wechsler - 2013-01-18 16:15 - 0 comments

  10. The Philadelphia Ethics Board's Proposed Gift Regulation

    ... to influence." De Minimis Exception The first term is effectively a de minimis exception to the gift ban. That is, gifts of ... gratuities. With gratuities, the regulation simply uses the term "directly or indirectly." This is part of the basic gratuity provision. ...

    Robert Wechsler - 2013-11-20 10:24 - 0 comments

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