making local government more ethical

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Robert Wechsler
Back in Chicago, where in February the mayor called for the inspector general (appointed by the mayor) to have jurisdiction over the city council (see my blog post), the council is now moving toward a council-wide vote on its own inspector general.

In my blog post, I suggested that one IG be appointed by an independent ethics board, itself to...
Robert Wechsler
Here's another blog post about a Georgian who wants out of EC jurisdiction.

Some ethics commissions, especially state ethics commissions, have no jurisdiction over officials once they leave office. Especially when ECs require confidentiality regarding complaints until probable cause is found, this lack of jurisdiction allows officials to resign before their unethical conduct becomes public. And it allows officials to evade enforcement.

Robert Wechsler
When a major newspaper's editorial on a city council's handling of an important ethics issue begins with "Sneaky. Real sneaky." it's something worth sharing with those interested in local government ethics.

The newspaper is the Jacksonville Times-Union, and the editorial on a new bill to take the city's ethics commission and ethics...
Robert Wechsler
Special Counsel Robert S. Bennett's report on the District of Columbia council's earmark grants and personal services contracts was made public yesterday by the Washington...
Robert Wechsler
The Grants of a Conflicted Board of Insiders
Sometimes conflicts can cause a city or county serious problems with such things as state and federal grants. This is what has happened in Brockton, MA (pop. 94,000), according to an article in the Enterprise-News.

The board of the city's...
Robert Wechsler

I don't usually use examples from Congress, but this one is too good, and instructive. According to yesterday's New York Times, Billy Tauzin, when he was a Louisiana congressional representative, started two hunting clubs, whose memberships included primarily lobbyists and executives of companies with business before the committee he chaired, the energy and commerce committee...