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September 19, 2007 Code of Ethics Study Committee1 Milwaukee County Code of Ethics Study Committee Report and Recommendations to the Public September 19,

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Presentation on theme: "September 19, 2007 Code of Ethics Study Committee1 Milwaukee County Code of Ethics Study Committee Report and Recommendations to the Public September 19,"— Presentation transcript:

1 September 19, 2007 Code of Ethics Study Committee1 Milwaukee County Code of Ethics Study Committee Report and Recommendations to the Public September 19, 2007

2 Code of Ethics Study Committee2 Welcome Mr. Mike Gousha Distinguished Fellow in Law and Public Policy Marquette University Law School

3 September 19, 2007 Code of Ethics Study Committee3 Committee Members County Supervisor Joseph Rice (Chairman) Mr. Robert Andrews (Appointee of Corporation Counsel) Mr. Rick Ceschin (Appointee of County Board) Ms. Hannah Dugan (Appointee of Ethics Board Chair) Charles C. Mulcahy (Appointee of County Executive) Dr. Joan Prince (Appointee of County Board Chairman)

4 September 19, 2007 Code of Ethics Study Committee4 Guiding Principles Committee Charge By Supervisor Rice A RESOLUTION to create a Code of Ethics Study Committee to study the existing and proposed provisions of the Milwaukee County Code of Ethics, research comparable codes in other jurisdictions and report recommendations to the County Board. WHEREAS, the Code of Ethics (“Code”) has been modified several times (e.g., File Nos , , , ) since its creation as Chapter 9 in the Milwaukee County Code of General Ordinances in 1975; and WHEREAS, modifications to the Code have generally been responsive in nature, precipitated by events that have tested Code provisions, and have resulted in a Code that is reactive rather than proactive; and WHEREAS, the Milwaukee County Corporation Counsel noted in a memo dated April 10, 2006 that “[t]he difficulty of this method of reform is that it often reacts to a specific set of facts and may not be appropriate or workable when another set of facts is presented”; and WHEREAS, because the Code of Ethics represents the means to instill public confidence in the integrity of county government by establishing standards of conduct for Milwaukee County officials, it is imperative that all provisions of and any proposed revisions to the Code receive thorough scrutiny for processes and propriety; and WHEREAS, a Code of Ethics Study Committee, composed of County officials and members of the community, will function as an evaluator of existing and proposed provisions of the Milwaukee County Code of Ethics, and make recommendations to the Committee on Judiciary, Safety and General Services; now, therefore BE IT RESOLVED, that the Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors hereby creates the Code of Ethics Study Committee to study the existing and proposed provisions of the Milwaukee County Code of Ethics, research comparable codes in other jurisdictions and report recommendations to the Committee on Judiciary, Safety and General Services for advancement to the full County Board; and BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Code of Ethics Study Committee shall be composed of the following members: the Ethics Board Chairman or designee, the Corporation Counsel or designee, one County Board Supervisor designated by the County Board Chairman, and County Board staff; and BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the County Board Chairman and County Executive are each authorized to appoint one community member who shall be representative of an academic, civic or faith-based community; and BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Code of Ethics Study Committee shall issue an interim study report for consideration at the December 2006 meeting of the Committee on Judiciary, Safety and General Services.

5 September 19, 2007 Code of Ethics Study Committee5 Authorizing Resolution BE IT RESOLVED, that the Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors hereby creates the Code of Ethics Study Committee to study the existing and proposed provisions of the Milwaukee County Code of Ethics, research comparable codes in other jurisdictions and report recommendations to the Committee on Judiciary, Safety and General Services for advancement to the full County Board;

6 September 19, 2007 Code of Ethics Study Committee6 Guiding Principles (cont’d) Create Culture of Compliance Independent Appointment Process Streamlined Complaint Procedure Robust Education and Training Augmented Ethics Board Resources “User Friendly” Ordinance

7 September 19, 2007 Code of Ethics Study Committee7 Overview of Committee Actions Prof. Charles Clausen, Retired Professor Marquette University Law School Committee Ethics Advisor Issues Presented by the Current Code Approach Adopted by the Committee

8 September 19, 2007 Code of Ethics Study Committee8 Committee Recommendations Governance Structure - New Independent Appointment Process Nominating Authorities: 1. Chief Judge of Milwaukee County - District One 2. Public Policy Forum 3. Greater Milwaukee Committee 4. Milwaukee Bar Association 5. Inter-Faith Conference of Milwaukee 6. The League of Women Voters of Milwaukee County

9 September 19, 2007 Code of Ethics Study Committee9 Committee Recommendations Education & Training - A robust education component to inform employees and officials about their ethical obligations. - Education component is crucial in: - Encouraging voluntary compliance with the Code - Preventing unintentional violations resulting from the lack of familiarity with the Code

10 September 19, 2007 Code of Ethics Study Committee10 Committee Recommendations The ethical county official should: Promote public confidence in county government. Protect all funds and other properties of the county. Maintain a positive image. Maintain respectful attitude. Faithfully comply with all laws and regulations. The ethical county official should not: Engage in outside interests that are not compatible with performance of duties. Improperly influence other officials to act in his or her own benefit. Accept anything of value offered to influence his or her action as a public official. Standards of Conduct

11 September 19, 2007 Code of Ethics Study Committee11 Committee Recommendations Protocol with District Attorney - New Protocol - DA’s Public Integrity Unit: - identifies the process for action on suspected criminal violations - offers Milwaukee County municipalities additional guidance in processing ethics questions

12 September 19, 2007 Code of Ethics Study Committee12 Protocol with District Attorney’s Office COOPERATION PROTOCOL FOR THE MILWAUKEE COUNTY ETHICS BOARD AND THE MILWAUKEE COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY’S OFFICE The Milwaukee County Ethics Board and the Milwaukee County District Attorney’s office seek to acknowledge the benefits to both entities of an increased level of cooperation and communication between them. In order to foster and continue this level of cooperation and communication the following protocol shall be followed: 1. All verified complaints received or generated by the Ethics Board, shall be forwarded to the District Attorney’s Public Integrity Unit within five days of receipt. 2. Within 10 days of receipt the District Attorney's office shall notify the Ethics Board regarding whether the matter is appropriate for criminal investigation. The Ethics Board shall withhold action on the complaint until the District Attorney’s office has submitted written notice of the results of its investigation. It is anticipated that the Ethics Board will defer actions in all matters involving criminal investigation and/or proceedings by the District Attorney’s office. 3. In the event a criminal investigation is commenced, the District attorney shall share information, to the extent permitted by law, with the Executive Director and the Chair of the Ethics Board. 4. At the conclusion of the investigation written notice will be provided to the Ethics Board informing the Board as to the results of the investigation. 5. In the event the District Attorney declines to commence a criminal investigation, the Ethics Board will be free to proceed on its own. At the conclusion of any such investigation, the Board will notify the DA of its findings and conclusions. 6. If either the Ethics Board or the Milwaukee County District Attorney’s office determines at a future date that either will not follow this protocol, the party making the change will notify the other in advance in writing.

13 September 19, 2007 Code of Ethics Study Committee13 Committee Recommendations Complaint Process - User Friendly Code - Contains Index and Headings - New Preliminary Conference - Promoting Conciliation - Hearings Before Other Authorities - Settlement Options

14 September 19, 2007 Code of Ethics Study Committee14 Ethics Board Process for Complaint Resolution (9.10) Complaint returned to Ethics Board by District Attorney for disposition Ethics Board schedules Preliminary Conference for closed session; complainant and subject allowed to present evidence and witnesses At close of Prelim. Conf., Ethics Board deliberates in closed session; Ethics Board may settle the matter or may approve a formal investigation Investigation authorized by the Ethics Board Stipulation or settlement may occur at any point, pursuant to 9.14 Written statement of findings and reasons for entering settlement made part of public record Complaint dismissed; findings and notice of dismissal sent to complainant and accused No violation Settled or resolved

15 September 19, 2007 Code of Ethics Study Committee15 Investigations (9.11) Ethics Board conducts investigation in closed session Ethics Board is vested with investigative powers to require testimony, subpoena, depose, and compensate witnesses, and hire outside counsel Investigation completed Violation determined No violation Complaint dismissed; findings and notice of dismissal sent to complainant and accused Findings and conclusions issued to complainant and accused; may include recommendation on charges

16 September 19, 2007 Code of Ethics Study Committee16 Findings and Recommended Outcomes (9.12) Ethics Board may: a) order accused to conform conduct to code b) order forfeiture of $100 - $1000 c) make other recommendations as appropriate and consistent with intent of Chapter d) make referral to appropriate authority, determined by position held by accused, as shown: Employee in Classified Service: Refer determination and evidence to appointing authority with recommendation to act as appointing authority deems necessary, in accordance with civil service and labor rules Employee in exempt (unclassified) service: Refer determination and evidence to appointing authority with recommendation to act as appointing authority deems necessary County Executive, Register of Deeds or Sheriff: Refer determination and evidence to Governor with recommendation to reprimand or remove from office Clerk of Circuit Court, Treasurer or Board Supervisor: Refer determination and evidence to County Board with recommendation to reprimand or remove from office

17 September 19, 2007 Code of Ethics Study Committee17 Committee Recommendations Ban on Political Activity - New provision barring county officials from the use of county resources in pursuit of political activities. - Identifies certain activities not to be undertaken while acting on duty or in an official capacity.

18 September 19, 2007 Code of Ethics Study Committee18 Committee Recommendations Advisory Opinions - The revised Code encourages those covered by the Code to seek guidance from the Ethics Board on questions related to code compliance. - Clarifies Process and “Safe Harbor”

19 September 19, 2007 Code of Ethics Study Committee19 Committee Recommendations Ethics Board Budget - Resources Crucial for Administering the New Code - Education a Priority - Administrative Oversight

20 September 19, 2007 Code of Ethics Study Committee20 Ethics Board Budget (cont’d) Current Budget Positions Amount.25 FTE Executive $28, Secretary.25 FTE Administrative $19, Assistant.25 Administrative $2,760 Intern_______________________ Total $50,606 Recommended Budget Positions Amount 1 FTE Executive $103,199 Director 1 FTE Administrative $57,224 Assistant Operation Costs $21,598 Independent Legal $5,000 Services Investigative Services $5,000 Website Tutorial $4,000 Total $196,021

21 September 19, 2007 Code of Ethics Study Committee21 Comments & Questions

22 September 19, 2007 Code of Ethics Study Committee22 Next Steps Ethics Code Study Committee Meeting October 4, 2007 Judiciary Committee, County Board October 18, 2007 County Board Of Supervisors Meeting November 1, 2007

23 September 19, 2007 Code of Ethics Study Committee23 Thank you Adjournment

24 September 19, 2007 Code of Ethics Study Committee24 Milwaukee County Code of Ethics Study Committee Report and Recommendations to the Public September 19, 2007


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