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Everyday Ethics for Local Officials Archive

Title Issue
Public Agency Attorney Ethics

Public Agency Attorney Ethics

Attorneys must meet a number of requirements (including ethics requirements) to be able to practice law in California. But what happens when public agency attorneys are pressured to justify unlawful actions?

February 2013
Blind Spots: Money, Public Service and the Ethical Hazards of Self-Interest

Blind Spots: Money, Public Service and the Ethical Hazards of Self-Interest

Recent media coverage of public officials’ ethical lapses raises questions about the underlying causes of such behavior. This column explores why people make poor choices and the roles that rationalizing and denial play in the decision-making process.

December 2012
Regulating Lobbying Activities

Regulating Lobbying Activities

This column presents options for securing compliance with local lobbying laws and questions to ask about what kind of laws make sense for a particular community.

October 2012
Regulating Lobbying Activities

Regulating Lobbying Activities

This article examines common elements of lobbying laws and how these laws typically regulate lobbyist behavior.

August 2012
Website Content for Local Agencies to Consider: A Checklist

Website Content for Local Agencies to Consider: A Checklist

June 2012
Local Agency Opportunities for Website Transparency

Local Agency Opportunities for Website Transparency

Public agency transparency comprises two dimensions: information and process. This article includes a handy checklist of items local agencies may want to consider including on their website.

June 2012
Understanding Changes to the Gift Rules

Understanding Changes to the Gift Rules

A variety of changes to the gift regulations took effect Jan. 1, 2012. The goal was to simplify the gift regulations and make them easier to understand, while reinforcing the principle that public officials may not use their positions for personal gain.

April 2012
The “Front Page” Test: An Easy Ethics Standard

The “Front Page” Test: An Easy Ethics Standard

As an elected official and public servant, your actions and words are often subject to intense public scrutiny. Thinking about how the average constituent on the street will perceive your actions is a useful exercise. Will that constituent think you are doing the right thing as a public official?

February 2012
What Do You Think Promotes Public Service Ethics?

What Do You Think Promotes Public Service Ethics?

December 2011
The Ethics of Public Language

The Ethics of Public Language

October 2011