making local government more ethical

You are here


Robert Wechsler

There's a new twist to the ethics mess in Stamford, which I described in a blog post last week. It turns out that, according to an article in the Stamford Advocate, a board of finance member,...
Robert Wechsler
Note: This blog post was posted on September 22, and I accidentally deleted it. This is a reposting.

What is recusal? More to the point, does the act of recusal require merely inaction, or action, or action and words? This has become an issue in the city of Santa Fe, but it is important to establish a definition for the purpose of government ethics.

According to...
Robert Wechsler
Two days ago, I wrote about a Louisiana lawyer-legislator who is arguing that disclosure rules should not apply to lawyers, because the practice of law is regulated by the state supreme court. The story behind an indictment in New Jersey this week makes a strong argument for applying disclosure rules to lawyers, as they are in California and North Carolina, only...
Robert Wechsler
Lawyer-legislators are extremely creative people. The latest use of their creativity is to argue that ethics boards cannot require disclosure of a conflict of interest that arises from legal representation because they have no jurisdiction over the practice of law. Only the state Supreme Court has that jurisdiction.

The lawyer-legislator in this matter is state senator Rob Marionneaux of Louisiana, a state whose ethics code applies to local governments. According to...
Robert Wechsler
Update: October 8, 2010 (see below)

There's a fascinating ethics controversy going on in Stamford, CT which raises a number of issues involving time limits, the enforcement of declarations of policy, intimidation, and the roles of ethics commissions and inspectors general.

Time Limits
Stamford's Code of Ethics requires that a decision on...
Robert Wechsler
Two years ago, I wrote a blog post about a book by Lewis Hyde entitled The Gift, which had a lot to say, philosophically, about gift-giving and -receiving, an issue of relevance to government ethics. I just finished Hyde's book...