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Robert Wechsler
For the second time in a year, a local ethics commission has been the subject of a grand jury report. The first was San Francisco's (see my blog post). There, it was a civil grand jury and the focus was on the commission. Here and now, it is a criminal grand jury, and the focus is on the county executive and other officials, as well as ethics commission members. The...
Robert Wechsler
Update: September 17, 2011 (see below)

An article in yesterday's Stamford Advocate keeps asking the question, Who should pay? The article is referring to attorney's fees related to an ethics proceeding. Most ethics codes do not deal with this issue, and therefore it often turns into a big political controversy after the fact, leaving a...
Robert Wechsler
When there is a time period in an ethics code investigation or hearing provision, there is always the question:  What happens if some event does not take place within the designated time period? Does that mean that the complaint is automatically dismissed?

This issue arises due to a Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court (an appellate court) decision dated March 17 in the case of G. L. v. State...
Robert Wechsler
Another interesting ethics matter is raised in the article on the school board member in Santa Clara County (CA), which I discussed earlier today.

The DA's office notes that the contractor, for whom the school board member had worked as...
Robert Wechsler
Prof. Patricia Salkin, director of the Government Law Center at Albany Law School and author of the Law of the Land blog, has published another of her regular roundup of what's been happening recently in the ethics of land use. Her focus is on cases that have...
Robert Wechsler
Update: October 15, 2010 (see below)

Decision-makers are given too much credit. Most individuals who vote on government matters are non-professionals who are paid little or nothing, and who rarely focus on the matters before their body. They are, therefore, very dependent on staff members who are professionally trained and who are paid to focus on the matters before the body.

And yet, according to...