Alexandria Letter: Improve Ethics Rules

Alexandria Letter: Improve Ethics Rules

Letter to the Editor

To the Editor:

The Virginia state ethics requirements are extremely lax, almost non-existent in fact.

Former Governor McDonnell was tried and convicted on corruption charges in a Federal court. Under state law, he had done nothing illegal. Governor McAuliffe has an initiative to improve our state ethics rules which is commendable. His challenge will be the General Assembly which usually resists his proposals.

However, there is no logical reason why Alexandria cannot immediately move forward on establishing an ethics commission and putting it to work creating a clear ethical framework to guide our local elected officials. The board of the Federation of Civic Associations agreed soon after Mayor Allison Silberberg’s election that this should be an important goal for the city.

An attorney member of the board has already done some research and found that at least one Virginia jurisdiction has an ethics commission. We are now a dense urban community and one-size-fits-all state rules, even if improved from the current feeble standards, are not sufficient for us.

Katy Cannady