making local government more ethical

You are here

Ethics Reform

Robert Wechsler
Type "ethics" into the search line at, and all that comes up is Archery Ethics Course Online.

In response to what are referred to in Utah as last year's "ethics wars," a new legislative ethics bill has been drafted. What is interesting for local government ethics is how focused the new bill is on fighting last year's war, with little thought about anything else.
Robert Wechsler
The Michigan House passed a bill in November requiring all local governments in Michigan to set up ethics boards. The bill, which amends the state ethics law, requires that ethics boards either use the state law, which is minimal, or that local governments pass their own ethics laws, with...
Robert Wechsler
Move over, presidents, movie stars, and models. Welcome a local government ethics officer to your ranks.

Yes, at last a local government ethics officer's picture is on the cover of a magazine. The ethics officer is City Ethics' own Carla Miller, and the magazine is Northeast Florida's Folio Weekly. And there's even an incredible...
Robert Wechsler
As I wrote in a blog entry nearly two years ago, Memphis has broken records in terms of convicted public officials. But its mayor of seventeen years, Willie Herenton, has stood above it all. At least until now.

One result of the many convictions in Memphis was a new ethics ordinance in 2007 (not directly accessible via the city website search mechanism)...
Robert Wechsler
The new year is a good time for ethics commissions and officers to look ahead to 2009 and set goals and priorities. According to an article in today's Jacksonville Daily Record, this is exactly what the Jacksonville (FL) ethics commission did at its first meeting of the new year. As did the city's ethics officer, City Ethics' very own Carla Miller.
Robert Wechsler

Memphis has been the scene of some serious corruption in the last few years. And for years before that, as well, although they say that in the old days the corruption was institutionalized, so that there were rules about how you could and could not take advantage of your office.

In round numbers, in the last six years, 66 officials, employees, and contractors have been found guilty of various sorts of government-related crimes. In a city of only 650,000 people, that puts Memphis in...