making local government more ethical

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Family Members/Nepotism

Robert Wechsler
It's amazing the lengths people will go to when they are accused of bribery. Take Zehy Jereis, a former Yonkers, NY party chair who gave nearly $175,000 to a Yonkers council member, and is being accused of doing this in order to get her to make a pivotal vote in favor of his client's controversial mall, according to an article in yesterday's New...
Robert Wechsler
Proximity rules are common to local and state government ethics codes nationwide (see my blog post on them from five years ago). They require officials to withdraw from any matter dealing with property within a certain distance of property they own or rent, no matter how many others have property within the same proximity.

According to...
Robert Wechsler
On Friday, the Louisville ethics commission found that a council member intentionally violated several ethics provisions. This was its first major action under the city's new ethics code, which I wrote about last year. The EC gave the council member the most serious...
Robert Wechsler
In March, I wrote a blog post about a nepotism situation in Valparaiso, IN. The city's ethics commission found that the hiring of the fire chief's son would be in violation of the ethics code, because the chief would be directly involved in personnel matters involving his son.

According to an...
Robert Wechsler
I was just reading a review in The Economist of Francis Fukayama's new book, The Origins of Political Order. The review made me think differently about nepotism, a government ethics issue that is usually considered rather minor.

Some people may know that the Catholic Church instituted priestly...
Robert Wechsler
Wow! Get a Load of Those Salaries!
It's official. People get more upset over big salaries to government officials than over bribes, kickbacks, unbid contracts, and the like, which cost taxpayers far, far more.