making local government more ethical

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Robert Wechsler
Several interesting issues arise from a recent ethics case in Jefferson Parish, a suburb of New Orleans with about 430,000 people. According to an article in the Advocate yesterday, an employee of a large parish contractor sent the following e-mail to a council member's aide, who forwarded it to the council member:
“I would like to schedule a meeting with Councilman Spears...
Robert Wechsler
Allen County, IN
According to an article in the Journal Gazette, Allen County, IN, which includes Fort Wayne, amended its ethics ordinance after a complaint was brought against a member of the county council. It turned out that it wasn't clear whether the ethics ordinance even applied to elected officials, whether the ethics commission could sanction officials, or even...
Robert Wechsler
In June, the Phoenix council took a step toward ethics reform, based on the recommendations of a task force (I critiqued the task force recommendations in an April post entitled "Disappointing Report from Ethics Task Force in Phoenix"). What the council did was approve...
Robert Wechsler
In January, I wrote a blog post about the District of Columbia ethics board's first public forum seeking recommendations for ethics reform. On April 17, the ethics board published a report that makes recommendations for improvements to the city's ethics program (attached; see below).

Of the five recommendations I made in my testimony to the D.C. board, only one of them...
Robert Wechsler
This week, San Antonio's mayor and city attorney proposed a number of reforms to the city's ethics code and campaign finance regulations. I will deal here only with the ethics reforms. A summary of the proposed reforms and a red-lined copy of the ethics code are attached (see below).

The impetus for these reforms is a matter I discussed in a blog post last...
Robert Wechsler
Applicant Disclosure Is Good for Officials
If Ontario or Mississauga required broad applicant disclosure, Mississauga's mayor would not be in court this week arguing that she didn't know that her son had invested in a huge hotel and convention center deal. According to an article yesterday on the 680 News Radio site, she has been alleged...