Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Time for Ethics Control

The most important thing an integrity agency should do is draw a clear line on right and wrong.

Its main job is to tell the rest of the world – “Here’s the line. Don’t cross it.”

What did JJOKE do today? When it came to toeing the line in its own actions, JJOKE acted as if there was no line at all.

That’s the inescapable conclusion from listening to today’s accidentally broadcast executive session  . It was five minutes or so of candid commentary that revealed that the commissioners were quite aware that one of them should have recused herself from an ongoing case, but had not done so, and didn’t intend to do so.

The commissioners’ collective response was to simply look the other way at this conflict of interest. Worse, one commission member actually had the temerity to say: “The less said on this matter, the better.”

Does anybody need any more evidence that this panel is bankrupt, that it’s a travesty of ethics, that it’s JJOKE instead of JCOPE?

(BTW, recusal rules aren’t complicated. If you have a conflict or an appearance of conflict, you simply don’t participate in the proceeding. It’s a very clear line.)

JCOPE was supposed to clean up things after Herb Teitelbaum and John Feerick ran ethics into the ground. Remember ? Remember? The State Inspector General said that Teitelbaum and Co. leaked information on an ongoing probe to the Governor in an attempt to create a scapegoat. Then, once they were exposed, Teitelbaum and Co. tried to make out that they were being tough on everyone in the administration. But it was a charade. Paterson called for their resignations, and they all refused.

Of course, Teitelbaum was later run out of town, but the rest of them covered their asses. Then came JCOPE and Biben and Co. They were supposed to be beyond reproach. But they’ve done nothing of substance over the last year and today revealed just how crooked this game is.
Now that I've stopped laughing long enough to give todays events some sober thought the only question I have is when will The Governor and the Legislative Leaders realize the people at JCOPE, staff and commissioners, need to be replaced?
Gun control? we need ethics control.

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