making local government more ethical

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Advisory Opinions

Robert Wechsler
Timing is everything. That is the principal lesson to be learned from a conflict situation in West Palm Beach, FL. According to articles in the Palm Beach Post and on the WLRN website, the director of the city's...
Robert Wechsler
When I put in the DVD yesterday evening, I did not expect the movie Admission (2013; written by Karen Croner, based on a novel by Jean Hanff Korelitz, starring Tina Fey and Paul Rudd) to be a revelatory movie about the mishandling of conflicts of interest situations. But it is. Not in government (it's about a university admissions employee), but the situations are easily applicable.

I can't tell the whole...
Robert Wechsler
This is the second of three posts on how Richard W. Painter's recommendations for federal ethics reform in his book, Getting the Government America Deserves: How Ethics Reform Can Make a Difference (Oxford U.P., 2009), may be applied to local government ethics programs.

At the federal level, many ethics rules are made by the ethics...
Robert Wechsler
Richard W. Painter's Getting the Government America Deserves: How Ethics Reform Can Make a Difference (Oxford U.P., 2009) may be about the federal executive branch ethics program, but this excellent book also has a lot to offer to local government ethics. This is the first of three blog posts about this book, focusing on Painter's recommendations for ethics reform and how...
Robert Wechsler
On August 29, the D.C. Board of Ethics and Government Accountability issued an advisory opinion on the important and far too overlooked topic of constituent services (attached; see below). The issuing of advisory opinions that cover more than a very specific set of facts, what I call "general advisory opinions," is itself very valuable (see the section of my book...
Robert Wechsler
Should the Josephson Institute's Five Principles of Public Ethics be enforceable by a local government? And if not, why not?

Article I of Allen Park, MI's charter consists of the five Josephson Institute principles, plus one more about "congeniality and productivity." Here...