Since most local ethics commissions do not have the authority to
initiate their own investigations or draft their own complaints
(although in many cases this authority is not expressly withheld),
there is a special role that former EC members, especially chairs,
can play: filing complaints that no one else will file.
DeBonis's article in the Washington Post last week describes an operatic
ethics matter, with several twists and complications, with dramatic
cries of innocence mixed with scathing accusations of guilt. The
article is certainly more exciting than this blog post...
Here is a concrete example of the problem of allowing local
government attorneys to provide ethics advice that protects local officials, a problem that
Florida state senator Jeff Clemens and the Florida League of Cities
want to harden into state law in SB 606 (see my
recent blog post for a discussion of the problem).
Senate Bill 606 (attached; see below) is one of the worst ethics reform bills I have
ever read. But it is far worse than the words it consists of. What
makes it worse is that, with respect to laws that affect local officials, it is largely the work of the Florida League of Cities
(this was confirmed to me by representatives of both the League and
state senator Jeff Clemens, the bill's sponsor). It is...
A passing statement in yesterday's
New York Times article on the continuously unfolding story of
NJ governor Chris Christie's bullying led me to wonder why it is
that indictments based on sting operations focus only on the
government officials who give in to the sting's temptations. Not
only is this not fair to the many officials who withstand the
temptations, but it also...