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Douglasville council makes changes to ethics ordinance
by Bill Baldowski
November 22, 2013 09:45 AM | 1179 views | 0 0 comments | 11 11 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The Douglasville City Council has approved several amendments to its ethics ordinance designed to give the ethics board more independence by reducing the influence of city officials on the board’s makeup.

At its meeting Monday, the city council voted unanimously to approve the amendments.

Mayor Harvey Persons will continue to appoint one of the three ethics board members.

However, instead of the mayor then choosing the ethics board chair, the board’s three members would select one among themselves to serve as chairman.

At the meeting, the council chose Barbara J. Wood as its ethics board appointee while Persons appointed attorney Robert Kunz.

“We had a couple of things that needed addressing with regard to the ethics ordinance and we made the proper changes,” Persons said.

“We now have a good, strong ethics ordinance that should help carry us for years to come.”

Another change to the ethics ordinance regards the question of who determines whether a filed ethics complaint meets the criteria to allow it to be forwarded to the ethics board.

Previously, the city attorney decided if the complaint would go before the board.

Under the new ordinance, any ethics complaint would now go directly to the board.

Then ethics board members would determine if the complaint met the requirements for further consideration.

If the board determines the complaint was justified and agreed there had been a violation, the complaint would move to the city council for further action.

“Ethics is something that all elected officials should be interested in maintaining,” Persons said.

The mayor said when an individual is elected to a public office, that individual should be held to a higher ethical standard.

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