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Council Approves Ethics Commission Reform

Posted on 05/14/2024
All 15 Councilmembers voting "YES" on the Ethics commission reform.

Acting on a motion by Council President Paul Krekorian, the City Council voted unanimously to advance a set of substantial reforms to the City’s Ethics Commission, and laid the groundwork for further reforms to the City Charter.

This motion instructed the City Attorney to prepare for the November 2024 ballot an amendment to the City Charter to bolster the independence of the Ethics Commission and enhance its powers of enforcement.  

The proposal approved today does the following:

  • Triples the penalties for violations of the City’s Ethics Code.
  • Prohibits persons from serving on the Ethics Commission who do business with the City or have any financial interest in the City’s actions.
  • Prohibits elected officials from appointing to the Ethics Commission any relatives, campaign consultants or major campaign donors
  • Compels the Council to consider all Commission recommendations within 180 days.
  • Provides the Ethics Commission with a minimum annual budget (adjusted annually to reflect changing City revenues), one that it controls without requiring Council approval for specific expenditures.

The motion also instructed the City Attorney to prepare an ordinance creating a Charter Reform Commission, to be appointed every ten years to study and propose further amendments to the Charter as needed.  

“In recent years, a series of shocking scandals and revelations created a powerful demand for reform of our City government,” said Council President Paul Krekorian. “Today, we are answering that demand."