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Ethics Commissions/Administration

Robert Wechsler
One of the big stories in government ethics this week involves an attempt in Tennessee to consolidate the state ethics and campaign finance commissions, which on its face sounds like a good way to save money during these tough times. But when politicians deal with ethics laws and bodies, things are rarely that simple, especially when the state's ethics director is fired in the midst of the debate.

Robert Wechsler
To those who read my recent blog entry, it will come as no surprise that, yesterday, the Nevada Supreme Court unanimously affirmed the District Court's ruling in the Nevada legislative immunity case (the Order of Affirmation, in searchable form, is attached to this blog entry below).

Robert Wechsler
Yesterday, the Rhode Island Supreme Court held oral arguments on the appeal of the RI legislative immunity decision. I want to focus on two important issues that arose in the oral arguments, according to an article in the Providence Journal. But...
Robert Wechsler
Update below
An ethics emergency was declared in Corpus Christi on Tuesday, according to an article on the KIII TV website. During the final meeting of the council before the council membership changes post-election, the lame-duck council declared an ethics emergency in order to amend the ethics code (...
Robert Wechsler
See Update Below
The accusations made by New York's Inspector General that the executive director of New York's Commission on Public Integrity leaked information about an investigation to a close associate of the target of the investigation (the governor) are very upsetting. But there are two important lessons to be learned here.

One, ethics commissions should be as independent as possible, so that when such things occur, it is clear that they are personal rather than...
Robert Wechsler
If the governmental ethics community had a publicity program, the headline of a front-page article in Tuesday's Kansas City Star would be a call to arms:

Legislators agree: Ethics laws are puppies, not pit bulls