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All stories and pages related to the Model Code Project

Robert Wechsler
The controversy surrounding the New York State pension fund returned to the front page of the New York Times today. The players are former state comptroller Alan Hevesi, his political adviser Hank Morris, and pension fund investment officer David Loglisci.

The occasion is the indictment by the state attorney general of Morris and Loglisci, along with charges brought by the SEC. The...
Robert Wechsler
The ethics provision that is probably most consistently violated is the one about political activity in city or county hall.

The City Ethics Model Code Project version reads as follows:
    An official, employee, or municipal candidate may not knowingly request, or authorize anyone else to request, that any subordinate or potential future subordinate participate in an election campaign or make a political...
Robert Wechsler
I've always felt torn with respect to whether citizens should be allowed to ask for advisory opinions that have to do with local government officials, as can be seen in the advisory opinion provision and comments in the City Ethics Model Code Project.

On the one hand, advisory opinions are generally seen as dealing with the requestor's conduct, which I think is why most ethics codes limit requests to city...
Robert Wechsler
Agreeing on the local government budget is the most important thing that the government does every year, because it affects every department and agency. But with the exception of the big issues of the year, it's a pretty arcane process often accomplished behind closed doors. Thus, it provides excellent opportunities for unethical conduct, very little of it dealt with in ethics codes.

I raise this issue because of what the Obama Administration just announced, according to...
Robert Wechsler
Type "ethics" into the search line at, and all that comes up is Archery Ethics Course Online.

In response to what are referred to in Utah as last year's "ethics wars," a new legislative ethics bill has been drafted. What is interesting for local government ethics is how focused the new bill is on fighting last year's war, with little thought about anything else.

According to...
Robert Wechsler
I recommend an essay by Donald Menzel from the October issue of PM, the magazine of the International City-County Management Association (ICMA), entitled "Strengthening Ethical Governance in Local Governments." Menzel is a former president of the American Society for Public Administration, author of Ethics Management for Public Administrators: Building Organizations of Integrity, and co-editor of ...