making local government more ethical

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County Related

Robert Wechsler
The most underrated aspect of accountability is the need for government officials to honestly and publicly explain why they do what they do. This need is strongest for two groups of officials:  elected representatives and their watchdogs.

It is, therefore, painful to see the chair of a major county board of ethics refusing to even speak to the press about his own possible conflict of interest. You can see it, too, in...
Robert Wechsler
On today's Palm Beach County (FL) Board of Commissioners agenda is approval of an Interlocal Agreement with the city of Lake Worth. The agreement is one of many that will be entered into between cities and towns in the county to give the county ethics commission jurisdiction over the municipalities' ethics training, advice, disclosure, and enforcement. The agreement is attached; see below.

The reason...
Robert Wechsler
Cuyahoga County, OH, which includes Cleveland, has been the site of a large number of arrests of government officials, contractors, and developers, primarily for making and accepting bribes (see my blog post). The most recent arrest occurred on December 17.

As of this week, the county has a new form of government, featuring a county...
Robert Wechsler
One Moore County (NC) commissioner has been faced with two conflict of interest matters in 2010, one of which led him to recently resign from a board. Although the two have nothing to do with each other, they have become politically intertwined which, along with the lack of an ethics program, has prevented the responsible handling of the conflicts.

Robert Wechsler
The recent arrest of the Prince George's County (MD) executive and his wife, who is a new member of the county council, shows how wrong it is to give the county executive and individual council members power over development projects, a topic I've written about with respect to Dallas and...
Robert Wechsler
An editorial in the Lake Forester last week questions whether the county board of Lake County (IL) should be taking a fresh look at the county's ethics program.
    The call for an ethics committee to review Lake County's ethics ordinances and policies sounds laudable on the surface, but the question has to be begged:  Is this really needed? We don't think so...