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Robert Wechsler

Cheryl Forchilli, chair of the Florida Commission on Ethics (which deals with local government ethics), wrote a must-read op-ed piece that appeared on the Florida Thinks blog yesterday.
Robert Wechsler

Never a dull moment in Chicago. According to an article in the Chicago Tribune, a now-former alderman has pleaded guilty to bribery and tax fraud charges relating to $40,000 in work done on his home by a developer whose development he backed. This makes him the 29th Chicago alderman to be convicted over the last four decades (including his father, on a similar...
Robert Wechsler
Update: February 19, 2010 (see below)

This blog post is about Chicago, and things are more complicated in Chicago than in other American municipalities. So please read slowly and carefully.

According to an article in yesterday's Chicago Tribune, the first deputy in the mayor's Office of Compliance resigned a few weeks after...
Robert Wechsler
Should ethics commission members follow ethics laws to the letter, and no further, or should they provide leadership and a role model by going beyond legalism and instead acting ethically? State EC members in New York and Georgia are telling the world by their actions and their words that only the letter of the law matters in government ethics.

Robert Wechsler
When the speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives says, "the American people don’t care about process" in a news conference (the context was the process surrounding the health care bill), this topic, which is central not only to government ethics, but to our legal and political system, is worth focusing on.

Anyone who has been to law school knows that if process isn't everything, it is at least the...
Robert Wechsler
Update: December 10, 2010 (see below)

After all I've written about the immunity courts have given legislators from enforcement actions by ethics commissions, I now can write about a court decision that gives ethics commissions and their staff immunity from suits by respondents in ethics enforcement actions, in this case one for defamation against an ethics board's executive director. The respondent in this case, however, is not a legislator, but a losing candidate for...