City-County Council approves Hogsett’s ethics proposal

The Indianapolis City-County Council voted 17-7 Monday night to approve a package of ethics reforms introduced by Mayor Joe Hogsett.

The rules are intended to strengthen gift-reporting requirements, impose stronger penalties for violations and create a website so the public has better access to ethics disclosures.

Hogsett said the new measure is needed because even though the city has had a lobbying ordinance for six years, no enforcement actions have ever been taken.

The existing law has too many loopholes, the mayor's office said, that will be closed by the new rules.

The new proposal requires lobbyists to report the value and recipient of all gifts worth $25 or more.

It also calls for the creation of a web portal, called "Disclose Indy," that would provide a slew of information, including ethics disclosures and other documents that are already available to the public but scattered across an aging city website. The city would be required to post audits, campaign finance reports, contracts, crime statistics, public expenditures and other information.

Other changes in the proposal include establishing one-year cooling-off periods that would temporarily ban former city employees from working for a contractor they used to oversee, and from lobbying city agencies they used to work for.

Also, existing employees who have another job couldn't do contract work with the city agency they work for.

 

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