making local government more ethical

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Robert Wechsler
One Indian tribe wants to build a casino, another tribe already has one in the area and doesn't want competition. You're a council member in the city that can effectively block the casino from being built. Both tribes want your support, and are willing to back up that support with campaign contributions. What do you do?

According to an article in yesterday's ...
Robert Wechsler
What should an ethics program do when an agency or department takes ethics advice and enforcement into its own hands? This issue has arisen in Hawaii County, according to two articles in West Hawaii Today, one from two years ago, the other from last week.
Robert Wechsler
Sometimes Withdrawal and Formal Processes Are Not Enough
It never looks good when a high-level elected official gets a job with the government while in office or soon after leaving office. It looks like he got the job because of his influence and relationships with those who made the decision.

According to an article in the Observer-Reporter, the North...
Robert Wechsler
Mike DeBonis's article in the Washington Post last week describes an operatic ethics matter, with several twists and complications, with dramatic cries of innocence mixed with scathing accusations of guilt. The article is certainly more exciting than this blog post...
Robert Wechsler
Government officials leaving office do not have to do just the minimum necessary to help gain the public's trust. They can do a lot more. And they can even make the rules they're following clear, so that they suggest an alternative to others and provide guidance.

What is needed are role models. Jesse Eisinger of ProPublica wrote about two possible role models in his New York Times column on Thursday. One is Sheila Bair, former head of the FDIC who, in order to prevent conflicts,...
Robert Wechsler
Human Rights Watch has just published a harrowing report entitled "Profiting from Probation," which shows how the privatization of probation has led to conflicts of interest that have seriously harmed many individuals, and how probation companies have not been sufficiently supervised by the criminal justice system.