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Counties Under More Scrutiny Seek Guidance on Ethics Policies

Posted Date: 
July 2, 2012
Jacqueline Byers, Director, Research & Outreach, NACo

In recent months, the NACo Research Division has received numerous requests for information on model county ethics codes.

Many counties are finding that in this era of closer government scrutiny county residents are expressing greater concern about the activities of their county officials. Even though certain activities are completely legal, they can often be perceived as improprieties by casual observers.  If the county has no written ethics code or ordinance, it can be very difficult to demonstrate that specific conduct is within ethical boundaries.

Among the activities that are receiving closer scrutiny are allegations of nepotism, conflicts of interest and misuse of government property or authority. In many of these cases, the public is seeing an action that it believes is contrary to the public interest.

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