Mixing Election Oversight and Professional Contracts
According to an Illinois Business Times article on April 5, the Chicago Board of Election Commissioners is chaired by an attorney whose law firm has received presumably no-bid contracts to lobby for city agencies, that is, contracts from the administration whose mayor and alders were...
Across the country, requests for citizen complaints provide not only for complaints, but also for commendations. I happened to notice one of these when I was in the nation's capital this weekend, and it got me wondering why this is not done with respect to government ethics complaints and hotline reports.
Wouldn't it be wonderful if ethics commissions were to ask citizens to file commendations regarding government officials' responsible handling of conflicts of interest situations?...
Yesterday, two members of a New York City council member's election campaign were indicted on criminal charges brought by a special prosecutor, who was appointed in 2012. Read this December 2014 New York Law Journal op-ed piece by Brennan Center (NYU) Chief Counsel and longtime New York City Corporation Counsel Frederick A.O. Schwarz, which argues very well that this...
Call for a State Municipal Lobbying Code
It may be a big holiday week and the end of the year, but there has still been
some news on the government ethics front. The
Boston Globe has called for the state to institute
disclosure requirements for local lobbying. According to the
editorial, the only rule now is to file a letter...
According to an
article yesterday in the Rockdale Citizen,
Rockdale County, GA's county commission is having a debate on how to
select its three-member ethics board and its alternates.
Unfortunately, it's a debate that is being waged with no reference
to best practices and almost no outside professional input. It's as
if a debate about a construction project...
Does the "broken windows" theory, as first stated in a
1982 Atlantic essay by George L. Kelling and James Q.
Wilson, apply to government ethics? The theory says that, if small
things like broken windows are ignored, people will think that no
one cares and, therefore, they will break more windows and move on
to more serious misconduct. It's about setting norms and sending