County Council Sends Proposal for Amended Code of Ethics Back for Revisions

Deputy County Attorney Dan Gonzales briefs Council  on an ordinance amending the Code of the Incorporated County of Los Alamos by adopting a new Article VI, Code of Conduct. Photo by Carol A. Clark/ladailypost.com

Staff Report

Deputy County Attorney Dan Gonzales briefs Council at tonight’s County Council meeting in Council Chambers on an ordinance amending the Code of the Incorporated County of Los Alamos by adopting a new Article VI, Code of Conduct.

During public comment, Harry Ettinger said he believes the draft code of ethics is inadequate and overwhelmingly geared toward financial aspects. He said it should be broader and include aspirational aspects such as trust, fairness, openness, honesty and so on.

The proposed ordinance is a document that runs 14 pages, which he said almost certainly ensures it won’t be read, adding that it needs major revision. Councilor David Izraelevitz said the New Mexico Municipal League Code of Ethics is just one page and about eight sentences and he thinks the bulleted items would apply to anyone serving on a board or commission. Councilor Pete Sheehey said while the proposed amendment may not be perfect – it does provide a structure of what it expected.

Councilor Steven Girrens said that every year he is required to fill out a conflict of interest form at the Lab and it is no where near as extensive as the County’s proposed 14-page document.

Henderson entered a motion to remand the proposed document back to staff to be revised and to be adjusted to include the various boards and commissions as appropriate as well as place a shorter aspirational statement at the front of the document.

The motion passed 5-2 with Girrens and Sheehey voting no.

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