Today I came across the Municipal
Research and Services Center of Washington
(State) website. MRSC is
"private, non-profit organization based in Seattle," whose mission is
"to promote excellence in Washington local government through
professional consultation, research and information services."
Since what's good for Washington local governments is good for any
local government, this website is a good resource to know about. It
includes a page of links to sample local
, a page on Washington
state laws governing local government ethics
, including the
consequences of violating each law, and a conflicts
of interest page
that includes court decisions and AG opinions.
But, at least for me, the most interesting document on the website is
Law Ethics Primer For Government Lawyers
prepared by the Washington
State Municipal Attorneys Association and revised in 2010, after this blog post first appeared. Although primarily a legal
ethics primer, there is an important overlap with government ethics
when it comes to the representation of officials, especially when
conflicts are involved. The primer attempts to answer the difficult
question, What are a government lawyer's obligations when officials act
not in the public interest, but rather in their personal interest?