County Exec. Unveils Ethics Changes

Wednesday, November 02, 2011 – Robert Lang
The Baltimore County Executive has proposed ethics guidelines for county officials and employees

The executive order and the legislation is released just days after County Councilman Ken Oliver quit a consulting job with the state Department of Business and Economic Development after it was found to violate the county charter prohibiting county elected officials from working for the state.

However, Kevin Kamenetz said the changes he proposed today were in the works for months, but the Oliver incident does call attention to potential problems

“We certainly took into consideration more recently… that while there was a charter violation, and therefore a remedy for a citizens to go to court, there was no immediate remedy for the county ethics commission,” Kamenetz told WBAL News.

The legislation extends the ban on county employees from participating in matters that would benefit their immediate relatives.

It would bar county employees from receiving any kind of a gift from anyone doing business with the county and it prohibits former employees from representing anyone in a matter that they worked on, while they were working for the county.

The county council begins considering the legislation next week.

Kamenetz also signed an executive order establishing a code of conduct for employees that takes effect immediately.

Kamenetz says it reminds employees not to treat people seeking help from the county any differently based on age, race, sex, or sexual orientation.

Kamenetz says that order sends a reminder to employees that, “their words as well as their actions are important in dealing with the public.”

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