making local government more ethical

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Self-Regulation

Robert Wechsler
Many local legislative bodies have ethics committees, even where there is an ethics commission. The reason for these self-regulatory committees is that these bodies have their own codes of conduct that go beyond conflicts of interest, and which are enforced, discussed, and amended separate from the city or county's ethics program. Some local ethics programs consist of nothing more than a council ethics committee and code of conduct, but that situation is not the topic of this blog post.
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Robert Wechsler
Another mayor has resigned after getting caught by an FBI sting. According to an article in yesterday's Charlotte Observer, Charlotte's mayor, Patrick Cannon, has been alleged to have accepted bribes from undercover agents in return for promises to help them. His alleged crimes occurred when he was a council member and in the five months since he became...
Robert Wechsler
Last November, I wrote a long blog post examining an important general advisory opinion from the District of Columbia's ethics commission on the subject of constituent services. Through a list of general considerations, a look at relevant laws,...
Robert Wechsler
According to an article yesterday in the Seguin (TX) Gazette, there will be a perfectly ordinary local government ethics occurrence next Monday in Seguin, a town of 25,000 outside San Antonio: the city's ethics commission will meet in closed session to discuss a recently filed ethics complaint.

There doesn't seem to be anything wrong with this. But there are two...
Robert Wechsler
Now that Tallahassee's mayor has opposed all of the recommendations from a special ethics advisory panel (attached; see below), according to an article last week in the Tallahassee Democrat, it's about time to look at those recommendations and what, it appears, is going to happen to them.

The mayor's strong...
Robert Wechsler
The Privatization of Economic Development
A fascinating report has just been published by Good Jobs First, entitled "...

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