FOX 5's Vice President and General Manager Duffy Dyer gives his take on issues in the DC Region.
Late last year, the D.C. City Council passed much needed comprehensive legislation that overhauled the city's ethics laws. While the final form of the legislation had its share of critics, it was generally applauded as the proper response to address the string of ethical lapses that have plagued the city's elected officials.
At the time of passage, many realized that there was still much work to be done before the new board of ethics and government accountability could actually start policing the conduct of elected officials. One of the first tasks at hand was assigned to Mayor Vincent Gray, who was to provide the names of qualified candidates for the three-member board within 45 days after an emergency version of the legislation went into effect.
That deadline has already come and gone and still there have been no names of qualified candidates passed on to the city council.
You would think that the mayor, whose 2010 campaign is under federal investigation, would jump at the chance to play his part in the council's efforts in addressing ethics reform. The foot-dragging is a real head-scratcher.
But here is something you probably don't know. The new ethics legislation put an end to the Office of Campaign Finance's responsibility for policing conflict of interest laws. So, currently, with the new ethics board yet to be formed, no D.C. government entity has the authority to investigate violations of conflicts of interest. The hen house is unguarded.
I urge the mayor and the city council to get the process back on track and to take steps in the meantime to plug the holes in oversight that can only lead to more ethical lapses by our elected officials.
That's my take. What's yours? Comment below here on myfoxdc.com or send me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org .
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