A couple of weeks ago, in
a City and State column, veteran NYC reporter Wayne Barrett
hit the nail on the head regarding the responsibility for failures
to deal responsibly with conflicts of interest, specifically with
respect to the conviction of former state assembly speaker Sheldon
Silver, a Democrat:
Eula Biss's excellent book On
Immunity (Graywolf Press, 2014) is not about legislative
immunity, but about immunity to diseases. And yet there is a great
deal of food for thought in it about municipal ethics.
The first parallel can be seen in the "mun" in both "immunity" and "municipal." It comes
from the same Latin word "munus," which means service or duty. Who
I was fortunate today to see an American film focused almost entirely on local government ethics. Although it is an excellent film, it has not been included in City Ethics' (but not my) Top Ten Ethics Films list or in any of the comments suggesting additions. The film is City of Hope (1991), written and directed by the great John Sayles,...
This is the first of four blog posts in which I will look at Zephyr Teachout's excellent new book, Corruption in America: From Benjamin Franklin's Snuff Box to Citizens United (Harvard Univ. Press), from a government ethics viewpoint....
More from St. Louis County municipalities. According to an article in Sunday's St. Louis Post-Dispatch, several of these municipalities — with the connivance of municipal court judges, local prosecutors, police officers, and lawyers — use the state's point system for traffic tickets to get more money for...
The word "fiefdom" does not appear in the U.S. Justice Department's March 4 report on Ferguson, MO's police department, but that is what the report describes. What is unusual about the fiefdom is that it is controlled by the council, not by an executive or attorney. It is far from a classic fiefdom, which is why Ferguson has once again...