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Grand Jury Wants Protection for Ethics Panel

Audio

Aired 6/3/09

The San Diego County Grand Jury has issued a report recommending a changes in law that would assure the continued existence and independence of the City Ethics Commission. KPBS reporter Alan Ray says the Grand Jury's concern is...who controls the money that pays for the Ethics Commission.

— The San Diego County Grand Jury has issued a report recommending changes in law that would assure the continued existence and independence of the City Ethics Commission. KPBS reporter Alan Ray says the Grand Jury's concern is who controls the money that pays for the Ethics Commission.

As the City Charter is now written, the Ethics Commission exists "for so long as an Ethics Commission remains established by ordinance of the council".

The Grand Jury worries that members of the council could starve the Ethics Commission by reducing its funding. Grand Jury foreman L.D. Martin says today's report recommends that the City Council put a charter amendment before voters that establishes a minimum level for staffing and funding for a permanent Ethics Commission....

"We're asking that it be funded and staffed at a minimum level," Martin says. "And that the city council identify a revenue source to support that from year to year to year that's independent of the General Fund for the city."

Martin says the current situation leaves the Ethics Commission subject to the whims of politicians it might have to investigate.

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