MSD Board to Vote on New Ethics Policy Next Week

by Erica Peterson on January 17, 2012

The Metropolitan Sewer District Board is scheduled to vote on a new ethics policy during its meeting next week. The new policy cleared committee today.

In a report released last year, then-state auditor Crit Luallen found numerous problems with the way MSD was operated. One of the biggest issues was ethics—Luallen recommended the board institute a stronger ethics policy with certain provisions that apply to senior staff, as well as to the board.

During the policy committee meeting, board members tweaked a revolving door provision, meant to prevent former board and staff members from working for private companies doing business with MSD right after leaving the agency.

Interim executive director Greg Heitzman pointed out difficulties in the proposed language.

“But in some cases, you’re going to be limiting an ability for a senior staff person that wants to pursue another career opportunity, you’re going to significantly restrict them as to what they can pursue down the road,” he said.

The committee eventually changed the language, so MSD board members will be subject to a year-long ban after leaving the board, while senior officials will just have to wait three months. Other issues covered include standards for the use of MSD property, officials who serve on outside boards and commissions and conflicts of interest.

The full board is expected to vote on the policy next Monday.

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