A Visit to Ethics Court

September 16, 2009

The Ethics Court explored five cases ripped from today’s headlines to determine whether the actions were violations of the ICMA Code of Ethics.¬†Attendees were grouped at different tables and debated the issues without necessarily reaching the same conclusion.

Sample scenarios included:

What if the mayor advocates a crackdown on undocumented immigrants and attacks the police chief, blaming rising crime on inaction. The city manager disagrees with the mayor but chooses to retire. Is that ethical?

Who is right when an assistant manager reports to HR that the manager was viewing inappropriate information, and the manager says it was merely part of an investigation to verify an employee’s misuse? What if they both file ethics complaints against each other?

Like we said, no easy answers but lots of thoughtful discussion.