making local government more ethical

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Complaints/ Investigations/Hearings

Robert Wechsler
Here's an interesting case study from Hartford, CT. The facts come from an NBC Connecticut Troubleshooters post from Friday and a report of the city's Chief Auditor dated June 27, 2013.

In October 2011,...
Robert Wechsler
On Friday, New Orleans' Inspector General, who works for the city's ethics board, sent off two letters relating to the auditor for the Orleans Parish sheriff's office. One letter was sent to the state's ethics board, which has jurisdiction over local officials, requesting that it take "appropriate action."...
Robert Wechsler
When it comes to conflicts of interest, is a local government attorney primarily an attorney or a local government official? I would answer this question, "Definitely an official." But recently the New Jersey Supreme Court answered this question, "Definitely an attorney." In fact, had the attorney been an administrator, the opinion suggests, the court's decision would have been different.

The opinion focuses on the standard for determining whether the decision of a local government...
Robert Wechsler
It is a pleasant surprise to find an intelligent conversation about local government ethics in an article and the comments to it. The latest example of this occurred yesterday in the New Haven (CT) Independent, an online newspaper.

The conflict situation involves two instances of lobbying before the city's Board of Zoning Appeals by the city's former...
Robert Wechsler
Several interesting issues arise from a recent ethics case in Jefferson Parish, a suburb of New Orleans with about 430,000 people. According to an article in the Advocate yesterday, an employee of a large parish contractor sent the following e-mail to a council member's aide, who forwarded it to the council member:
“I would like to schedule a meeting with Councilman Spears...
Robert Wechsler
In New Orleans, it is the ethics board that selects the city's inspector general. According to an article in the July issue of New Orleans magazine, it took the city a long time to get an inspector general. The first time an IG's contract came up for renewal, the ethics board voted for it unanimously. The board chair, civic...