|"Ethics? We no need no stinkin' ethics!"|
Of all the bat-crazy, stupidly laughable things, one Webb county commissioner actually had the gall to suggest that Webb consider estabishing an ethics commission? Yes, you heard right, ETHICS!
Well, Webb County Judge Danny Valdez's reaction was pure gold "What are you trying to accomplish?" he fumed at the mere idea that someone would dare utter the word ethics and Webb county government in the same sentence.
From Today's Laredo Morning Times
County commissioners discussed Friday the possibility of adding as a priority the creation of a county ethics commission to their Texas legislative agenda, but they scrapped the idea after weighing the possible detriments of such a powerful statute.
“What are you trying to accomplish?” Webb County Judge Danny Valdez asked Commissioner Jaime Canales, who put the item up for discussion.
Dialogue surrounding an ethics commission mostly revolved around the perceived inflated powers such a committee would posses.
Rhonda Tiffin, planning director, said the commission would be “too powerful” and threaten the sovereignty of elected officials.
“(The commission) has free reign to determine what is ethical or not ethical,” Tiffin said. “The sky is the limit.”
Such a statute would likely model an ethics commission adopted through the 2009 state Legislature by El Paso County.
Members, some appointed by the county court there, adopt and enforce an ethics code of the commission’s choosing.
Elected officials who violate such a code may be the subject of penalties such as fines and an order to cease unethical behavior but only after undergoing a lengthy hearings and appeals process.
The statute also contains language to protect elected officials from “frivolous” complaints.