Friday, April 20, 2007

Hamblen County OKs Ethics Policy, Committee

Deciding to formally adopt an Ethics Policy for Hamblen County is a major step into the 21st century, especially since state law mandated that all county commissions draft and adopt such a policy. As noted on the noe4accountability blog, the commission, on a motion from Commissioner Nancy Phillips, also took action on a recommended, thought not mandatory additional step - to create a committee to address issues which would fall under that committee's jurisdiction.

The committee would include 2 citizens not in elected office, as approved. In Knox County, for instance, only two of their 9-member ethics committee are county commissioners.

Sadly, 4 commissioners voted against the creation of the policy committee -- Commissioners Doyle Fullington, Scott Lebel, Frank Parker, and Joe Swann.

As Noe notes, " ...
Joe Swann jumped in and proposed that the county adopt an Ethics policy in which there be no Ethics Committee to which complaints could be made. Swann's proposal had the county attorney serving alone as the county's "ethics officer." This proposal failed."

The remaining commissioners are to be saluted for their wise decision.

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