making local government more ethical

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Robert Wechsler
Update: July 17, 2012 (see end of this post)

Here's an interesting conflict situation from Concord, NH. According to a recent article in the Concord Patch, a state representative filed ethics complaints against Concord's mayor and one of the city's council members. Since the mayor and city manager had not selected members for the city's ethics board, which was...
Robert Wechsler
It's Attack the Ethics Commission week once again, this time in New York State. According to an April 16 article in the Albany Times-Union, a mayor from one party filed a complaint against the deputy majority leader of the New York Senate, who is a member of the other party. The complaint is included below the article, and a...
Robert Wechsler
Today, the New York Times ran a length investigatory report on Walmart's extensive bribery of local Mexican officials intended to rush through permits and zoning approvals, reduce environmental impact fees, and gain the allegiance of these officials.

The Independence of Investigators
The report raises a few important local government...
Robert Wechsler
Three months ago, I wrote about an ethics commission decision asking for the removal of a Louisville council member, and the start of proceedings in the council to do just that. I noted that the council member's reaction was pure denial and attack on the ethics commission.

According to...
Robert Wechsler
It staggers the imagination how combative local government officials can sometimes be with respect to ethics commissions. A year ago, I wrote about a former Sioux Falls (SD) council member, Kermit Staggers, who attacked complaints filed by the city's ethics board as "frivolous" and attacked its procedures when it gave him two private, that is confidential,...
Robert Wechsler
According to the Wisconsin Supreme Court majority, a state legislature does not have to follow ethics laws, even ethics laws expressly designed to meet constitutional requirements. This shocking statement comes from the opinion in the case Wisconsin v. Fitzgerald, which I discussed in...