making local government more ethical

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Ethics Commissions/Administration

Robert Wechsler
Here is a concrete example of the problem of allowing local government attorneys to provide ethics advice that protects local officials, a problem that Florida state senator Jeff Clemens and the Florida League of Cities want to harden into state law in SB 606 (see my recent blog post for a discussion of the problem).

According to...
Robert Wechsler
This is the third of four blog posts on Florida Senate Bill 606 (attached; see below), one of the worst ethics reform bills I have ever read.

This post considers just one sentence of the bill: "A political subdivision is prohibited from imposing additional or more stringent standards of conduct and disclosure requirements upon the officers and employees of another political subdivision." The first...
Robert Wechsler
This is the second of four blog posts on Florida Senate Bill 606 (attached; see below), one of the worst ethics reform bills I have ever read (click here to read the first post, which focused on a provision that provides an additional penalty on complainants in order to...
Robert Wechsler
Florida Senate Bill 606 (attached; see below) is one of the worst ethics reform bills I have ever read. But it is far worse than the words it consists of. What makes it worse is that, with respect to laws that affect local officials, it is largely the work of the Florida League of Cities (this was confirmed to me by representatives of both the League and state senator Jeff Clemens, the bill's sponsor). It is...
Robert Wechsler
Incompatible Political Offices
According to an article this week on the TribLive website, an ethics complaint was filed against an Allegheny County, PA council member for working as a constituent services representative for a state senator whose district partially overlaps the council member's. The county ethics code prohibits council members from being employed on the...
Robert Wechsler
One of the biggest problems in government ethics is determining whether ethics reforms "work." A well written article in the Advocate looked at Louisiana's ethics enforcement since the reforms instituted by Gov. Jindal became applicable in 2009. Louisiana's ethics program has jurisdiction over local officials.

One of the two biggest changes was to bring in a board of retired...

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