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Ethics Codes

Robert Wechsler
County Ethics Embraced By Its Cities and Towns
Ethics reform won big in Palm Beach County on Tuesday. The final tallies were published on Friday. According to an article in yesterday's Palm Beach Post, every single city and town in the county voted in favor of applying the county's code to their town. Overall, 72% of voters supported this reform. Even in the town of Palm Beach, whose council and...
Robert Wechsler
Almost two years ago, I wrote about the self-serving nature of attempts at ethics reform in the village of Niles, outside Chicago. A lot has happened since then, but in terms of an ethics program, not much.

According to an article in the Niles Patch, in early October the village's board of ethics agreed, in a 3-2 vote, to send its...
Robert Wechsler
Consultants often fall between the cracks of government ethics. They are contractors, but professionals rather than suppliers or construction companies, and they often act just like government officials, only they're not on the payroll. And yet the ethics rules that apply to government officials often do not apply to consultants. Often, ethics commissions don't even have jurisdiction over consultants.

Robert Wechsler
According to an article in the Palm Beach Daily News, Florida law "forbids government bodies from advocating for voters to vote yes or no in a referendum election, and from spending funds to advertise for that purpose." But as with all laws, there are ways to end-run this prohibition, and the town of Palm Beach's council and city...
Robert Wechsler
I recently wrote about a situation in Stamford, CT in which probable cause was found based on a policy declaration rather than an enforceable ethics provision. That situation appeared to involve a misunderstanding, with a unanimous ethics commission finding probable cause.

According to...
Robert Wechsler
Four current attempts at ethics reform show the incredible variety of approaches and ideas of what government ethics is.

Prohibiting County Employees from Contracting with the County
According to an article in yesterday's West Hawaii Today, a proposal before the County of Hawai'i council has four provisions, some of them modeled after the city and county of...