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WaPo’s D.C. Wire posted that the D.C. Council has passed a new ethics code via emergency legislation. Tim Craig writes:
The proposal, for example, states that council members need to uphold “unusually high standards of honesty, integrity, impartiality” and that the “avoidance of misconduct and conflicts of interest on the part of council members is indispensable.” Some of those standards were already scattered through out city code, but Gray concluded the ethical policies dealing with the council were confusing and too dispersed.
In the Post account, Councilmember Marion Barry praises the ethics code as a big step forward and cites Chairman Gray for his “progressive thinking.”
So the code must be full of loopholes?
What I don’t get is why this had to be passed via emergency legislation. Barry’s problems date to the beginning of the summer, Bennett’s subpoenas are only now starting to fly. Why not let the investigation run its course and then pass a comprehensive ethics code with real penalties?
As it stands now, the council passed an ethics code without any teeth. There are zero penalities for I don’t know….hiring your girlfriend or funneling money to nonprofits controlled by your cronies.
This code and the passing of this code feels like grandstanding.
*photo by Darrow Montgomery.