D.C. Council Finally Learns of This Crazy Thing Called Ethics - NBC4 Washington

D.C. Council Finally Learns of This Crazy Thing Called Ethics

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    D.C. Council Finally Learns of This Crazy Thing Called Ethics
    E-T-H-I-C-S

    Filed under things that should have been in place before Marion Barry showed up: a code of ethics for the D.C. Council.

    The Mayor for Life's most recent ethical lapse has necessitated the creation of a defined list of rules for council members. The effort is being spurred by Chairman Vincent Gray in response to the controversy that erupted over the summer when it was revealed that Barry awarded a city contract to a woman he was dating, as well as claims that he channeled council funds to a nonprofit organization in his ward run by his staff.

    From WaPo:

    The proposal 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." It largely would put into place the formal ethical guidelines that many state and local governing bodies have been guided by for decades.  

    The proposed code also states that members should avoid "using their office for private gain," never give "preferential treatment to any person," and steer clear of matters that impede "government efficiency and economy" or result in a "loss of confidence or impartiality."

    It reinforces several existing laws and ethics policies for council members, such as not accepting gifts or loans from someone who is seeking a contract from the city.

    So, in other words, they're painfully common sense rules set up to give lip service to condemning the bad things that have happened under their watch. Yes, the council is outraged and will create redundant regulations to prove it.