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Robert Wechsler
The story of state legislative interference with local government ethics programs in Florida continues with a newly amended bill in the state senate (SB 1474 is attached; see below), sponsored by senator Joe Abruzzo, whose antagonism to the Palm Beach County ethics program has been the subject of three City Ethics blog posts in the past year (audit of the Palm Beach County...
Robert Wechsler
The independent selection of EC members is a great thing for making a government ethics program appear independent of those under its jurisdiction and for ensuring that an ethics commission remains fully stocked with members. But how this selection process is actually accomplished matters, too.

There is good and bad in the Palm Beach County (FL) ethics commission selection process, as can be seen from recent events,...
Robert Wechsler
A month ago, I wrote a blog post about the Broward County (FL) inspector general's recommendations for ethics reform. A principal recommendation was to require all local officials, who are under the county ethics program's jurisdiction, to seek ethics advice from an ethics officer rather than from their city attorneys.

According to...
Robert Wechsler
According to an editorial yesterday in the Luzerne County (PA) Citizens Voice, the Luzerne County council, on advice of the county attorney, is planning to hold an executive session tomorrow to discuss changes to its ethics code. The editorial says it would be wrong to hold an executive session.

The county attorney's reasoning is that the changes...
Robert Wechsler
According to an article in the Washington Post, two weeks ago, a public campaign financing bill (attached; see below) was introduced, cosponsored by all council members of Montgomery County, MD, a suburb of Washington, DC with about one million inhabitants, home to...
Robert Wechsler
What should an ethics program do when an agency or department takes ethics advice and enforcement into its own hands? This issue has arisen in Hawaii County, according to two articles in West Hawaii Today, one from two years ago, the other from last week.