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Ethics Codes

Robert Wechsler
Update: January 11, 2011 (see below)

According to a July 2 unpublished opinion by Judge Flanagan of the Washoe County (NV) district court, Carrigan v. Commission on Ethics of the State of Nevada (attached; see below), a city council member has a first amendment free speech right to vote where there is not "an actual, existing conflict of interest." (p. 13)

Due process also comes into play in the opinion:  "In the absence of an actual, existing conflict of...
Robert Wechsler
According to an article in the News-Tribune, the governor of Missouri recently signed an ethics bill (SB 844) that made many changes in the state's ethics and campaign finance programs, and failed to make others, such as a campaign contribution limit, which the legislature...
Robert Wechsler
“How he is treated is important. He’s going to fight for his name. Rather than accept language he disagrees with, he would rather fight it out. This is his life.”

These are the words of an adviser to congressman Charles Rangel about why his month-long settlement negotiations with the House Committee on Standards of Official Conduct broke down.

The committee's lawyers had a different story to tell. According to...
Robert Wechsler
In researching a recent ethics complaint in Harlingen, Texas (pop. 67,000), I came across some disturbing ethics matters. The most disturbing can be seen from the minutes of the city development corporation's September 29, 2009 meeting (pp. 3-4).

Robert Wechsler
If you're a city of a quarter million people with an ethics board that “has not met in many years and ... is effectively non-existent,” according to a council member who has proposed a new ethics ordinance, what do you do?

Not, I think, what the proposed ordinance (p. 16ff) does, which is create a new ethics board solely for council members, and consisting of two...
Robert Wechsler
I hate to see people resign with statements such as this, as typical as they are:
    While I have been assured that I have violated no existing code, ordinance or statute, I cannot permit my integrity — and, by insinuation, Councilwoman Hermann’s — to be attacked.
Sadly, these are the words of a former Kansas City (MO) ethics commission member, according to an article in the...