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Family Members/Nepotism

Robert Wechsler
In January, I wrote a blog post about the District of Columbia ethics board's first public forum seeking recommendations for ethics reform. On April 17, the ethics board published a report that makes recommendations for improvements to the city's ethics program (attached; see below).

Of the five recommendations I made in my testimony to the D.C. board, only one of them...
Robert Wechsler
Many major cities do not prohibit gifts from those seeking special benefits from the city government (restricted sources) to family members of city officials. Such a prohibition may seem a stretch, at least theoretically. How can a government interfere in the gifts given to an official's family members? Consider this situation, from 2011, which recently became public.

According to...
Robert Wechsler
Applicant Disclosure Is Good for Officials
If Ontario or Mississauga required broad applicant disclosure, Mississauga's mayor would not be in court this week arguing that she didn't know that her son had invested in a huge hotel and convention center deal. According to an article yesterday on the 680 News Radio site, she has been alleged...
Robert Wechsler
It's been over two years since I wrote about the indictments of former Detroit mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, his father, and a city contractor. This morning, according to an article in the Detroit Free Press...
Robert Wechsler
People (including government officials) usually talk about conflict situations as if they involved the public (represented by do-good ethics types) trying to get public servants (who are represented as corrupt) to sacrifice either their family, friends, or business opportunities or their duty to do their jobs as representatives or officials.

This is sad, because this leads people to ignore the other side to conflict situations:  the effect living and dealing responsibly with...
Robert Wechsler
What is the best way to prevent high-level officials from participating in matters involving departments or agencies where their close family members are employed, without doing this unreasonably, that is, excluding situations where the family members have no influence and will receive no benefits?

This is the question that has been raised in Baltimore by council members, particularly the council president who, according to...