making local government more ethical

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Advisory Opinions

Robert Wechsler
Needless to say, last week's oral argument before the U.S. Supreme Court in the Carrigan v. Nevada Commission on Ethics case, which I have been following over the past year, was the last oral argument of the term. Was this putting local government ethics in the caboose or saving the best for last?
Robert Wechsler
There are two morals to the following story. One involves law, the other ethics.

Last August, the Nevada Policy Research Institute ran a long commentary on the fact that Nevada's 17 school superintendents were not filing financial disclosure statements with the state ethics commission, something required of all the state's "public officers." Even though the superintendents met...
Robert Wechsler
Here's a situation from Lafayette Parish, a city of 220,000 in south-central Louisiana, which shows how when one official fails to deal responsibly with his conflicts, he is likely to be complicit in helping other officials deal irresponsibly with their conflicts and with those of their colleagues. When this official is a government attorney, it can cause an entire board or agency to deal irresponsibly with a conflict.

Robert Wechsler
Wow! Get a Load of Those Salaries!
It's official. People get more upset over big salaries to government officials than over bribes, kickbacks, unbid contracts, and the like, which cost taxpayers far, far more.

Robert Wechsler
In my last post, I dealt with the many arguments against application of the attorney-client privilege in the context of an inspector general, or ethics commission, investigation of official misconduct. One thing I did not do was respond to the general argument in favor of attorney-client privilege.

Robert Wechsler
Update: May 14, 2011 (see below)

An ethics controversy in Hartford presents a perfect opportunity to show the difference between ethics and law, and the right way to approach financial disclosure requirements.

Here are the facts, as reported in two Jon Lender columns in the Hartford Courant Sunday and...