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Mayor Vince Gray announced that his cabinet members will sign an “ethics pledge” today at their monthly meeting.
The pledge is pretty boilerplate stuff:
On my honor I will do my best To do my duty to God and my country and to obey the Scout Law; To help other people at all times; To keep myself physically strong, mentally awake, and morally straight.
No wait, that’s the Boy Scout Oath. The mayor’s pledge includes promises from Gray’s senior officials to avoid using their public jobs to make themselves privately rich, declining gifts from businesses with ties to District government, protecting confidential information from “misuse,” and disclosing waste and abuse.
“Government employees are public servants and guardians of the public trust,” Gray said in a statement. “This pledge outlines and underscores my administration’s commitment to ethical and conscientious government.”
Gimmicky P.R. move? Sure, but what can it hurt.
It’s worth noting that when former Mayor-for-Life Marion Barry was in charge, city employees could see a similar set of instructions similar to posted on bulletin boards in city government buildings (h/t: Nelson Rimensnyder). Barry’s rules include prohibitions against “using public office for private gain,” accepting gifts that were “intended to influence,” and misusing private information.
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Barry’s “integrity standards:”
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Photo by Darrow Montgomery