making local government more ethical

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Robert Wechsler
Here are three instances of ethics reform that, I hope, would not happen if someone involved had read the chapter on ethics reform in my Local Government Ethics Program book.

Robert Wechsler
Today, the New York Times ran a length investigatory report on Walmart's extensive bribery of local Mexican officials intended to rush through permits and zoning approvals, reduce environmental impact fees, and gain the allegiance of these officials.

The Independence of Investigators
The report raises a few important local government...
Robert Wechsler
According to the blog of Kansas City, MO's mayor, Sly James, the KC Commission on Ethics Reform will be holding a public hearing tomorrow on its draft ethics code.

It's clear from the draft that...
Robert Wechsler
An excellent article on the front page of last Sunday's New York Times looks at a proposal by the federal Office of Governmental Ethics (OGE) to limit two exceptions to the prohibition on accepting gifts from lobbyists:  the "widely-attended gathering" (WAG) exception and the "social invitations" exception.

First, the proposal recognizes something the U.S. Supreme Court has been...
Robert Wechsler
A few days too late for St. Patrick's Day, today's Irish Examiner has a wonderful story about catching officials involved in ethical misconduct relating to land use. It's an old story, but new to me, and probably new to you, as well. The occasion of the article is the publication of a 3,...
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...