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Ethics Commissions/Administration

Robert Wechsler
According to an article in the Tulsa World, last week the city's Ethics Advisory Committee (EAC) ruled in favor of one of its members, Michael Slankard, with respect to an advisory opinion request by the city attorney. This situation raises several interesting issues.

Robert Wechsler
Updates below
According to an article in yesterday's Press-Enterprise, San Bernardino County (CA) looks like it might soon have an ethics commission. After numerous scandals, two of five members of the county's board of supervisors are convinced...
Robert Wechsler
Happy Fifth Birthday, Atlanta Ethics Office! The Ethics Office has celebrated its birthday with a 40-page report on its first five years of existence. It is well worth looking at.

Robert Wechsler
There are two interesting developments going on in Texas right now, and two bills that will be heard in committee today.

One involves a request to the state legislature by El Paso County to allow local governments to give their ethics commissions teeth (they now can only censure).

Robert Wechsler
I recently wrote about the problem of having a toothless ethics commission in a Connecticut city. According to an article in yesterday's Danbury News-Times, it's good that another Connecticut municipality's ethics commission is toothless.

But the story has less to do with teeth than it has to do with what government ethics is all about. It's that word "ethics" again. Ethics is about good...
Robert Wechsler
Anonymous complaints are both important and problematic. Without anonymous tips and hotlines, our justice system would not work nearly as well as it does. With ethics programs, officials involved in unethical conduct often have great power in the community, and the people who know what they are doing are often the very people most vulnerable to their retribution.

And yet there is an air of cowardice around anonymous complaints, possibly even moreso now that people make anonymous...