I have written about the need for ethics commissions to go beyond
the criminal enforcement paradigm, which limits commissions to determining whether an
individual respondent has violated an ethics provision or not. It is hard to find instances of a commission looking at the bigger picture, that is, at the common practices and unwritten rules that underlie an individual's ethical misconduct. I
read about such an instance in
the New York Times yesterday
The commission is the New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct.
commission's report on Judge Luis Gonzalez
, dated March 30,
dismisses three of four charges against the judge. As for the fourth
charge, regarding nepotism in hiring, the commission goes beyond the
judge's conduct to look at common practices among judges with respect
to hiring for administrative positions.