making local government more ethical

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Advisory Opinions

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
Last November, I wrote a long blog post examining an important general advisory opinion from the District of Columbia's ethics commission on the subject of constituent services. Through a list of general considerations, a look at relevant laws,...
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.

Robert Wechsler
Sometimes Withdrawal and Formal Processes Are Not Enough
It never looks good when a high-level elected official gets a job with the government while in office or soon after leaving office. It looks like he got the job because of his influence and relationships with those who made the decision.

According to an article in the Observer-Reporter, the North...
Robert Wechsler
Mike DeBonis's article in the Washington Post last week describes an operatic ethics matter, with several twists and complications, with dramatic cries of innocence mixed with scathing accusations of guilt. The article is certainly more exciting than this blog post...
Robert Wechsler
This week, the Broward County (FL) inspector general filed a Review of the Existing Ethics Structure (attached; see below) of the countywide ethics program that he oversees, and which came into being via charter amendments overwhelmingly approved by the county's voters in late 2010. The 21-page report focuses on a two-part reform recommendation:  (1) an...