making local government more ethical

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Robert Wechsler
I chose to specialize in local government ethics because this is where it all starts. This is where the individuals who become our representatives experience their first unethical environment, become team players, learn the rules of the game, and begin to feel a special entitlement.

One good thing about election time is that we sometimes get the back stories of individuals running for higher office. We get to see how they started. One such individual is Carl Paladino, a candidate...
Robert Wechsler
The Dallas Morning News on Wednesday ran a fascinating article about Dallas County's district attorney. It caught my interest because he was accused of a conflict of interest, but accusing this district attorney of a conflict of interest is like accusing King Kong of being big.

The Dallas County DA is the county's chief law...
Robert Wechsler
There's a lot to learn from the chief of New Orleans' emergency medical service's past conflicts of interest, which have only recently become public. Despite the compassion one must feel for the official, the conflicts were poorly handled by her and by the former mayor and his administration.

According to an article in the New Orleans Times-Picayune, in late 2005 the EMS chief...
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...