No Gifts For Government Employees

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A county review panel is issuing a 13-page document for consideration by the county council that takes office in January.

It would codify an ethics code for workers that stipulates when gifts would have to be refused - specifically if accepting gifts could appear to influence their duties.

Portions of the document are adapted from laws in 13 similar sized counties around the country, including home counties of Memphis, Pittsburgh, and Jacksonville.

If approved by the full council, the proposed ethics code also would create a panel of nonpartisan advocates, led by a full-time ethics officer.

Outside experts have said the code would protect both workers and county taxpayers, many of whom are leery of continued accusations of wrongdoing by county officials.

So far, an ongoing federal investigation in Cuyahoga County has lead to more than 30 officials and contractors pleading guilty to corruption-related crimes.

Public input is being accepted at meetings across the area during September.
Rick Jackson, 90.3

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