Sunday, July 13, 2014

THE PRIVILEGE OF INCUMBENCY: Ethics Violations Or Laziness While In Office?

The query you should be asking yourself is: 
"Why arent these seven State Elected Officials subject to the same rules that govern their employees?"

Then again, I do understand that running a campaign while holding that position can become a ethics quandary all on its own: EXAMPLE: "This post is for my job, but its also good news for my campaign. Why cant I do a quick copy paste share from one account to another even if it is on a Government Office Computer and Internet signal?"

The other query comes into play when Elected Officials (not naming names yet) should be in their office working and instead are standing on top of a bank building taking pictures of Downtown Fort Wayne, but I digress.

What about having the issue of their personal laptop using the Government issued WiFi signal while working late in their office one night, does their personal laptop now become Government property?

The overall issue is that our ethics and information tech laws need modified for the times but they do not need to be weakened to accommodate laziness of our Elected Officials while in Office!!




Article excerpt via NWTIMES

Indiana Inspector General David Thomas determined that during (Dr. Tony) Bennett's 2012 re-election bid, he held joint staff meetings between Department of Education employees and his campaign team in Bennett's Statehouse office.

Bennett also used state-owned and maintained calendar software to track official and campaign events on a consolidated calendar, as well as received and responded to political emails from his state account, according to the inspector general's report.

In addition, Bennett directed DOE staff following his defeat to compile a personal contact list that he could use in his new job as Florida Education Commissioner. The final list included contacts from three campaign lists "The 5000," "The Big Hitter List" and the "Red Meat List" that were stored on a state server, the report said.

Thomas found those uses of state property violated a DOE policy Bennett signed upon taking office in 2009 expressly prohibiting any user from employing department equipment for political activity.

But Thomas noted that Bennett could have avoided an ethics violation by not signing that policy statement and instead authorizing himself to use state property as he wished.

That's because the seven state officers — the governor, lieutenant governor, secretary of state, attorney general, state auditor, state treasurer and state superintendent — are not subject to prohibitions on state employees engaging in political activity on state time, Thomas said.

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