Council Member Proposes Amendment to City's Ethics Code

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Thursday, November 20, 2014, 11:09 am
Ann Nichols

According to the State Integrity Investigation, Michigan gets an “F” on its Corruption Risk Report Card. This puts Michigan at 44th in the national ranking.

In an attempt to raise that grade, at least on the local level, East Lansing City Council Member Ruth Beier has proposed an Ethics Code amendment aimed at improving transparency and reducing corruption. Beier will introduce the amendment at the next Council meeting, a work session set to begin at 7:00 pm on Tuesday, November 25. Citizens wishing to comment on the proposed amendment can do so in writing to or in person at the "public comments" segment that typically occurs early in the meeting.

Beier explains her reasoning for bringing the amendment forward is that “[i]ntegrity is the most important quality that people look for in public officials. We can’t change the entire state, but East Lansing can lead by example by adopting and following the strongest possible ethics policies.”

The proposed change would amend Section 2-85 of the City’s Ethics Code by adding the underlined sentence below:

Sec. 2-85 (d) (1) No city official or employee of the city shall participate, as an agent or representative of the city, in approving, disapproving, debating, voting, abstaining from voting, recommending, or otherwise acting upon any matter in which he or she or a relative has a direct or indirect economic interest without disclosing the full nature and extent of their interests. For purposes of this paragraph, a city official has an indirect economic interest in the matter if they have received campaign contributions from any person or business entity, or any officer, agent or employee of a business entity, that has a direct economic interest in the matter.

By Friday, the agenda for the City Council work session will be posted at this page:

Because City Council work sessions are not recorded or broadcast, members of the public wishing to watch next Tuesday's meeting will need to attend the meeting at the courtroom of City Hall. Next Wednesday, ELi's weekly Council Capsule will provide a summary of what occurred at the meeting.


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