In March I wrote a
post about a situation in La Crosse, Wisconsin where the mayor
brought his father, who runs a refuse business, to meet with a county
official about a county solid waste assessment. A council member sought
advice from the city attorney rather than the city ethics board, and
then the mayor said he would put the matter before the ethics board.
His father's company has a refuse...
A failure to deal responsibly with one's conflicts of interest has
ramifications beyond the loss of public trust, and all the serious
problems that arise from this loss. This failure can also lead to
litigation and the overturning of actions by local government officials.
"Ceremonial function" is one of those terms that is found in many local
government ethics codes (but not the City
Ethics Model Code). However, it is rarely defined except, occasionally, in advisory opinions. The term is generally used to exclude certain gifts from
being either disclosed or considered gifts at all. The result is lots
of free, undisclosed tickets to sporting events, especially for mayors...