In October 2019, changes to the DeKalb ethics board were on the ballot and were vigorously opposed by the DeKalb Citizens Advocacy Council.
In 2020, a new ethics initiative is on the ballot and this one is getting a different response.
Mary Hinkel, who gave the presentation on the previous initiative has a new message for the current version:
Vote YES on Ethics Ballot Question. Here are the reasons why:
Additional details about the revisions can be found at dekalbcitizens.org
- The Board of Ethics remains independent; no one under the purview of the Board of Ethics is making appointments to the Board.
- Unlike the 2019 bill, this bill does not provide for the CEO to make a Board of Ethics appointment and does not call for the Board of Ethics to submit its policies and procedures to review by the CEO and confirmation by the Board of Commissioners.
- DeKalb employees continue to have direct access to the ethics office to express concerns about ethics violations.
- Unlike the 2019 bill, this bill does not require employees to funnel complaints about their immediate supervisor through the Human Resources Department and exhaust Merit System remedies before turning to the Board of Ethics.
- The position of Ethics Officer is retained, and the Ethics Officer is still vested with the authority to investigate and file ethics complaints.
- The Board’s authority to investigate and report to the public has not been weakened.
- The 2019 bill included a provision that required the Board of Ethics to abandon the investigation of elected officials or county employees if the resigned, retired or completed their term of office.
- The 2019 bill included a provision that prevented the Board from rendering any decision on a complaint against a candidate within 45 days of an election.