making local government more ethical

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Robert Wechsler
In May I wrote a blog post about a so-called ethics emergency in Corpus Christi, declared by a lame-duck council at its last meeting. This so-called emergency was the excuse for pushing through ethics reforms without running them by the city's ethics commission or allowing public discussion. The new council quickly suspended the reforms, pending review by the ethics commission.

At least that was the excuse the new council used...
Robert Wechsler
John Hazlehurst's observation on the Colorado Springs ethics commission's dismissal of a complaint against the mayor is valuable enough to deserve a separate blog post, rather than a mere update to my original post on this topic.

An important issue involved the mayor's insistence that, as an investment adviser, he could...
Robert Wechsler
Again, a very public federal conflict of interest matter provides valuable material relevant to local government ethics. This time it's former Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson, Jr.'s relationship with the firm he formerly headed, Goldman Sachs, the subject of a front-page story in Sunday's New York Times.

Robert Wechsler
It may be midsummer, but it's still a busy season for local government ethics. Here's how a few local governments are dealing with ethics reform.

Palm Beach County commissioners agreed to create an inspector general and ethics commission, according to an article in the Palm Beach Post. The commission says it will ask voters in November 2010...
Robert Wechsler
Open Records Requests and Ethics Proceedings
In an unusual twist on the confidentiality of ethics proceedings, counsel for the Colorado Springs mayor's former client, the person who gave rise to the mayor's apparent conflict of interest, has made an open records request for all documents related to the ethics proceeding against the mayor, according to an article in the Colorado...
Robert Wechsler
While so many local governments don't take conflicts seriously enough to require recusal, some take conflicts too seriously, and overreact. This appears to be what happened in Elizabethtown (NY), according to an article in yesterday's Press-Republican.