making local government more ethical

You are here

Post-Employment/Revolving Door

Robert Wechsler

The COGEL conference last week had an excellent panel on the revolving door between government and business. One thing I learned is that the first post-employment laws were passed in the 1850s and 1860s, and they involved lawyers, a group that often argues that ethics laws should not apply to them (in fact, in Pennsylvania, someone said, revolving door laws cannot be applied to practicing attorneys). The idea of a cooling-off period after government service originated in 1955, well...
Robert Wechsler
This week the Council on Governmental Ethics Laws (COGEL) met in Washington, D.C. and, as usual, I learned about a lot of cases and matters I didn't know about. I will be sharing some of the more important of my new revelations in blog posts over the next couple of weeks.

I referred to the decision in...
Robert Wechsler
There's a lot to learn from the chief of New Orleans' emergency medical service's past conflicts of interest, which have only recently become public. Despite the compassion one must feel for the official, the conflicts were poorly handled by her and by the former mayor and his administration.

According to an article in the New Orleans Times-Picayune, in late 2005 the EMS chief...
Robert Wechsler
Update: October 15, 2010 (see below)

Decision-makers are given too much credit. Most individuals who vote on government matters are non-professionals who are paid little or nothing, and who rarely focus on the matters before their body. They are, therefore, very dependent on staff members who are professionally trained and who are paid to focus on the matters before the body.

And yet, according to...
Robert Wechsler

According to an article in yesterday's Chicago Daily Observer, Cook County commissioner Tony Peraica has proposed a series of improvements to the ethics code. Here's a summary of the proposed amendments, taken from...
Robert Wechsler
I've been meaning for a long time to take a long second look at the City Ethics Model Code provision on the revolving door that many officials walk through between government and firms that do business with government. It's a complex matter, and local governments as well as states with jurisdiction...