Editorial: Ethics Reform

Much can be accomplished in six months.

Launching and completing investigations of ethics complaints against public officials isn't one of them.

Especially when you have received 223 ethics complaints in the last year alone.

A proposed state senate bill to do just that will invite further corruption rather than clean it up.

The bill does allow an additional six months with a petition to Montgomery Circuit Court but savvy attorneys no doubt could stonewall the investigative period.

Giving the state ethics commission subpoena power makes more sense.

That would enable them to conduct investigations more quickly.

Requiring lobbyists to report anything they spend on a public official should lower the number of ethic complaints and enable investigations of those remaining to be completed more quickly.

Requiring legislators to report any contracts or jobs they or their family members have with any recipients of public funds or contracts should lower the number of ethic complaints as well.

Let's quit dancing around ethics reform and just do it.