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Thursday, July 10, 2014

Ind. Gov't. - Ethics, ethics, ethics

In advance of this morning's state ethics board meeting, the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette had a long editorial headed "Clearing the air: State ethics board has chance for strong action." Between the ethics charges against the former superintendent of public instruction and references to "the legislation spiked by a powerful lawmaker with direct financial ties to the bill," the editorial discusses:

[Troy Woodruff, chief of staff for the Indiana Department of Transportation, who] is asking the ethics commission to declare no conflict exists with a position he seeks with an INDOT contractor. Woodruff wants to become vice president of an engineering firm, RQAW, with which he personally signed contracts totaling more than $500,000.
That's right, he is still at the agency, negotiating for a job with one of the agency's contractors, with whom he has personally signed state contracts.

In an ILB post on May 9th, where an attorney with the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission sought relaxed ethics rules to allow him to take a job he had negotiated with a water company the IURC regulates, the ILB asked:

Perhaps the policy should prohibit IURC decision-making employees from interviewing with companies the agency regulates while employed at the IURC, rather than simply prohibiting them from taking jobs with such agencies within a year after leaving?" It would seem to me that IURC employees never should be seeking or negotiating employment, while employed by the IURC, with entities their agency regulates.
I think the same should hold true in this case. But today, however, Ryan Sabalow of the Indianapolis Star reports:
A reluctant Indiana Ethics Commission gave formal approval today for two top highway officials to continue to seek employment with firms who do business with the agency.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on July 10, 2014 01:42 PM
Posted to Indiana Government