December 27, 2001

Board of Ethics
December 27, 2001



Chair Harry MacLean called the meeting to order at 9:15 a.m. Present were Board members Harry MacLean, Marcelina Rivera and Christopher Weimer. Carolyn Lievers and Charles Savage were absent.

Marclina Rivera moved and Christopher seconded to approve the minutes of the Board of Ethics meeting of November 15, 2001. The motion passed unanimously.

Budget and personnel issues were discussed. Christopher Weimer volunteered to lend his assistance to the Board of Ethics staff director in dealing with various Career Service, Budget and Management Office and Auditor’s Office issues.

Discussion about absences from Board of Ethics Meetings

Board members and the staff director discussed Section 2-53 (e)(2) of the Code of Ethics which states:

The unexcused absence of any member of the board from three (3) consecutive board meetings unless the board has excused the absence fro good and sufficient reasons as determined by the board shall constitute a resignation from the board.

Neither the Code nor any policy of the Board defines “good and sufficient reasons” or sets out a process for notification of absences. Proposed policy on this subject will be discussed at the next meeting.

Discussion of Proposed Recommendations for Modifying Code of Ethics

Section 2-68 of the Code of Ethics states:

By February 15 of each year, the board of ethics shall submit an annual report to the mayor and council summarizing its activities during the previous calendar year. The report shall include any recommendations for modifying the code of ethics.

The Board members had a preliminary discussion of what “recommendations for modifying the code of ethics” to submit as part of the annual report. Chair Harry MacLean indicated that the Board will have a full discussion at its January 24, 2002 meeting to decide which subjects to submit, with a rationale for each issue. He said that the Board and its staff director should volunteer to work with City Council and the Mayor’s office to develop proposed language on some of the issues if there is interest from City Council and/or the Mayor’s office.

Board members had preliminary discussion about the following possible recommendations:

1) Addition of a prohibition of “abuse of public office,” which is a prohibition in many other governmental codes of ethics.

2) Addition or clarification of remedies for violation of the Code of Ethics, including restitution, cease and desist order, consent decree, fines and voidability of city contracts in which a violation of the Code of Ethics was involved.

3) Clarification as to the process and responsibility for presenting the facts and the law to the Board of Ethics if a citizen inquiry has been found to warrant a public hearing.

Board members should bring any additional recommendations to the January 24, 2002 meeting.

Marcelina Rivera moved and Christopher Weimer seconded to go into executive discussion to deliberate on Cases 01-27, 01-28, 01-29, 01-30 and 01-31. The motion passed unanimously.

Respectfully submitted

L. Michael Henry
Staff Director

Approved by Board of Ethics January 24, 2002.