making local government more ethical

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Robert Wechsler
What do the BP oil spill and local government ethics have in common? Kenneth Feinberg.

This week, Feinberg was chosen to work out the BP oil spill claims, and today he is expected to be hired to work out the claims against Maricopa County, home of Phoenix, based on charges of harassment and abuse of power against sheriff Joe Arpaio and former county attorney...
Robert Wechsler
Ethics commission leaders are falling like flies in Hawaii. I recently wrote about Honolulu's EC chair resigning in order to be involved in a mayoral candidate's campaign (he had already been involved in other campaigns). And last Wednesday, the state EC fired its long-time director, according to...
Robert Wechsler
It's a good thing, especially in this age of fiscal austerity, when a local government affair, such as a retirement party, is not paid for out of public funds. But retirement parties, within reason, are part of any organization's calendar. Better they be reasonable and paid for by taxpayers than the alternative.

That alternative is having local government affairs paid for by those doing business with the agency, as appears to have happened in Atlanta, according to...
Robert Wechsler
Update: June 18, 2010 (see below)

In a memo dated June 14, 2010 (attached; see below), the Broward County (FL) county attorney told the county commission that lobbying provisions in the county ethics commission's proposed ethics code are unconstitutional and,...
Robert Wechsler
What responsibility does a supervisor have for the unethical conduct of a subordinate? This issue arises in a matter in Winn Parish, Louisiana where, according to an article on myarklamiss.com, based on a channel 10 newscast (accessible on the same page as the article), a former chief deputy sheriff is being investigated by the state ethics board for apparently having used deputies to collect rent for properties he...
Robert Wechsler
According to an article in yesterday's New York Times, it is coming out that more teachers and school administrators have been involved in cheating on the test scores that may not only give them bonuses, but may determine whether their schools continue to exist. One can argue ad infinitum about the pressures, temptations, and morals involved. But one thing is certain: the problems were not created by...

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