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Ethics and LAFCo CALAFCO


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									         Ethics in the Public Sector
    2011 CALAFCO Annual Conference

  David Church, San Luis Obispo LAFCO, Executive Officer
       Andrew Morris, Attorney, Best Best & Krieger
     Mona Palacios, Alameda LAFCO, Executive Officer
George Williamson, AICP, Humboldt LAFCo, Executive Officer

                       EXPLORING NEW BOUNDARIES
        Ethics in the Public Sector
   Introductions
   Ethics
     Personal & Professional
     Legal Requirements

   Why are Ethics Important?
       Recent Headlines
   Real Time Survey
   Case Studies
 Personal & Professional Ethics

“I have gained this by philosophy: that I do
 without being commanded what others do
         only from fear of the law.”

    – Aristotle, philosopher (384-322 BCE)
    Personal & Professional Ethics

   Doing the right thing is much more than just
    following the rules and regulations established
    by law.
       Harry Truman said it best: “There is no pillow so
        soft as a clear conscience.”
    Personal & Professional Ethics
   Ethical laws are premised on the overarching
    ethical principle of doing the right thing for the
    right reason.
   In this context, ethics has been defined as the
    discipline of dealing with what is good and bad
    with moral duty and obligation.
    Personal & Professional Ethics
   Ethics principles in public service are about promoting
    fidelity to universal values, such as trustworthiness,
    respect, responsibility and fairness.
   Ethical principles in public service are also about
    fostering the public’s confidence in our governing
    institutions, public servants.
   The #1 public service ethical principle:
       Is all about public officials making governmental decisions
        solely for the public’s best interest, rather than for their own
        personal and financial interests, or the special interests of
        their supporters.
    Personal & Professional Ethics
    Every public official needs to understand and
     appreciate two basic tenets of public service:
       You will be constantly under the media
        microscope and public scrutiny
       You will be judged sometimes unfairly for your
    Personal & Professional Ethics
   Ethical issues associated with public service
    come in all kinds of shapes and forms. Some
    ethical issues are very apparent, while others will
    be indirect and camouflaged and, at any
    moment, blindside the most well intended
    public official.
    Personal & Professional Ethics
   Whether you are new to public service, or a
    seasoned veteran, you must never forget the
    lynchpin of public service:
       The public expects and deserves every individual in
        public service to serve the public’s interest and not
        the personal, private, financial or political interest of
        the public official making the decision.
    Principles of Public Service Ethics
       Public Office = Public Trust / Honest Service
       The People’s Business = Open Government
       Public Official’s Decisions ≠ No Bias
       Must be Merit Based ≠ No Personal Gain
       No Conflicts of Interest
       Public Confidence = No appearance of impropriety
              Legal Requirements

“In civilized life, law floats in a sea of ethics.” – (U.S.
Supreme Court Justice Earl Warren, 1964)
      California’s ethics laws set the minimum standards for public
      Legal Requirements/Finding Your
            Way in Public Service
I.     General ethics laws and
II.    Four areas of ethics laws
        1.   Personal Financial
        2.   Personal Advantages
             and Perks
        3.   Conduct Public
             Business Openly
        4.   Fair Process
       Legal Requirements/Personal
            Financial Interests
1.   Political Reform Act (1974)
     (Ethical laws dealing with public
     officials’ financial interests)
2.   Contracts (Gov. Sec. 1090)
3.   Bribery
      Legal Requirements/Finding Your
            Way in Public Service
I.     General ethics laws and
II.    Four areas of ethics laws
        1.   Personal Financial
        2.   Personal Advantages
             and Perks
        3.   Conduct Public
             Business Openly
        4.   Fair Process
  Legal Requirements/Personal
     Advantages and Perks

  Meals            Entertainment           Travel

 A gift is basically anything of value that provides a
personal benefit for which adequate consideration was
                  not provided in return
     Legal Requirements/Personal
        Advantages and Perks

  Disclose         Disqualify           Refuse
    $50+          $420/12mos.           $420+

Bottom Line: Watch your calendar
 Estimate

 Track

 If Gift Exceeds $420: Return, Pay or Donate
       Legal Requirements/Personal
          Advantages and Perks
   Gifts to public agency
   Gifts returned, unused gifts or
    donor reimbursed within 30
   Gifts from family members
   Gifts of hospitality
   Equal-value gifts on holidays,
    birthdays or similar occasions
    (other than lobbyist)
      Legal Requirements/Finding Your
            Way in Public Service
I.     General ethics laws and
II.    Four areas of ethics laws
        1.   Personal Financial
        2.   Personal Advantages
             and Perks
        3.   Conduct Public
             Business Openly
        4.   Fair Process
                Legal Requirements/Conduct
                 Public Business Openly
1.    The Brown Act
2.    Public Records Act

“The people, in delegating authority, do not give their public servants the right to decide what is good
      for the people to know and what is not good for them to know. The people insist on remaining
      informed so that they may retain control over the instruments they have created.”
                                        (Cal. Gov. Sec 54950)
      Legal Requirements/Finding Your
            Way in Public Service
I.     General ethics laws and
II.    Four areas of ethics laws
        1.   Personal Financial
        2.   Personal Advantages
             and Perks
        3.   Conduct Public
             Business Openly
        4.   Fair Process
     Legal Requirements/Fair Process
1.    Due Process
2.    Bias
3.    Competitive Bidding
4.    Incompatible Offices
5.    Incompatible Activities
6.    “Revolving Door” Restrictions
7.    Campaign Finances
8.    Charity Fundraising Disclosure
9.    Missteps
10.   Best Practices
      Legal Requirements/Fair Process
         Best Practices for Decision-Makers

   If you think you cannot be fair,
    don’t participate
   Avoid statements before the
    close of a hearing
   Avoid the appearance of bias
   Pay attention
   Understand you will be judged
    by your fairness and integrity
    first and foremost
     Legal Requirements/Summary of 4
               Major Areas
       Personal Financial Interest         Conduct Public Business Openly
1.   Political Reform Act            1.    Brown Act
2.   Contracts                       2.    Public Records Act
3.   Redevelopment Property
4.   Bribery

      Personal Advantages & Perks                    Fair Process
1.   Gifts                           1.    Due Process
2.   Honoraria                       2.    Bias
3.   Travel/Lodging Expenses         3.    Competitive Bidding
4.   Loans                           4.    Incompatible Offices
5.   Reimbursements                  5.    Incompatible Activities
6.   Mass Mailings                   6.    “Revolving Door” Restrictions
7.   Misuse of Public Funds          7.    Campaign Finances
8.   Nepotism                        8.    Charity Fundraising Disclosure
                                     9.    Missteps
                                     10.   Best Practices
Why Are Ethics Important?
“Former OC sheriff surrenders to
            begin prison term”
                              Daily News
           “Residents stunned as scope of
                 Bell scandal told”
 “Scandals fill year for                   LA Times

                   Redland Daily

               “Scandals shake public's
              trust in local government”
                                     Ventura County Star
   Why Are Ethics Important?

 Codesof Ethics:
   What value do they have?
     APA
     ASPA

     Legal Ethics
       APA/AICP Code of Ethics
   The Code of Ethics offer codes, rulings, and
    procedures to help certified planners negotiate the
    ethical and moral dilemmas they sometimes face.
   A code sets standards. A code embodies values,
    and those values define both a profession and the
    behavior of those who embrace it.
   The first section of the code includes “aspiration”
    values and ideals.
        APA/AICP Code of Ethics
   The second section of the code is a list of rules. AICP can
    and does take enforcement actions against planners who
    have violated these rules of conduct.
   The third section provides the procedures for handling
    code infractions. What happens when there is an alleged
    violation, the rights of the planners accused, and the
    timetables for action.
   The final section, Planners Convicted of Serious Crimes —
    Automatic Suspension of Certification
       APA/AICP Code of Ethics
   1. Our Overall Responsibility to the Public

    Our primary obligation is to serve the public interest
    and we, therefore, owe our allegiance to a
    conscientiously attained concept of the public interest
    that is formulated through continuous and open debate.
    We shall achieve high standards of professional
    integrity, proficiency, and knowledge.
       APA/AICP Code of Ethics
   2. Our Responsibility to Our Clients and

    We owe diligent, creative, and competent performance
    of the work we do in pursuit of our client or employer's
    interest. Such performance, however, shall always be
    consistent with our faithful service to the public
         ASPA's Code of Ethics

I.     Serve the Public Interest
II.    Respect the Constitution & the Law
III.   Demonstrate Personal Integrity
IV.    Promote Ethical Organizations
V.     Strive for Professional Excellence
          Ethical Rules for Lawyers
1.    Rules of Professional Conduct
     a.   Professional Integrity in General
     b.   Relationship Among Members
     c.   Professional Relationship With Clients
     d.   Financial Relationship With Clients
2.    State Bar Act
3.    Rules of the State Bar
4.    California Attorney Guidelines of Civility and
              Ethics Survey
   Real Time Polling
Ethics Risk Index:
Measures the Risk to Public Trust
Case Studies
     Misusing Confidential Information
 “You didn’t hear this from me, but the chief
petitioner’s name is Bill Chiat at 1234 Alta Mesa
    Circle, Napa, CA 94558, and he works at

       Altering or Changing Documents in an
                Inappropriate Manner
“It’s gotta look like it was always in there or we’re all in
   trouble; especially you, since this was your project.”

Bending to Political Pressure in Performing
                 Assigned Tasks
“I’m not placing any blame, but the staff report
really should have been done already; you might
want to think about coming in on Saturday – at
          least that’s what I would do.”

Purposefully Dishonest to Stakeholders,
   Members of the Public, or Others
 “This thing is DOA but I kept that on the
down-low from the applicant; we need the
               extra revenue.”

      Witnessing Abusive Behavior
    “You finished off the coffee again?!
 Congratulations, I’m going to be your worst
f!@#$%& nightmare for the rest of the day!”

Abusing Internet and Email
“Bored at work, holler back!”

Inappropriately Using LAFCO Funds
  “Souplantation…yeah, I think I have
     enough money to swing that.”

Afraid to Discuss an Issue for Fear of Retaliation by
      Other Co-Workers/Supervisorial Figures
“Keene has been telecommuting all week, and he hasn’t
   even started the staff report for the Price Canyon
   annexation. I feel like I should remind Keene how
 important this is, but I know he has a big golf match
                        next week.”

   Observing Co-Workers/Supervisorial Figures
Placing Personal Interests Ahead of LAFCO Interest
“Can you come to a meeting with me this afternoon with
     the City of Walnut Creek to talk about that big
            annexation proposal? – Brendon
  “Hmmm, no can do. Remember, I’m hosting the Idol
            party tonight.” - Alexandra


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