For the second time in a year, a local ethics commission has been
the subject of a grand jury report. The first was San Francisco's
). There, it was a civil grand jury and the focus was
on the commission. Here and now, it is a criminal grand jury, and
the focus is on the county executive and other officials, as well as
ethics commission members. The county is Suffolk, on Long Island, a
suburban county of 1.5 million people.
The Need for an Independently Selected Ethics Commission
Suffolk grand jury report
shows an extreme example of what
happens when ethics commission members are selected by high-level
officials in a poor ethics environment. This worst case was one of
ongoing secret, political interference in ethics commission matters
and ongoing political warfare that placed the ethics commission
right in the middle between the two front lines.