City Council Approves New Ethics Regulations
Columbus City Council last night approved new ethics regulations proposed last year in the wake of the Redflex bribery scandal and two investigations of council members by the Ohio Ethics Commission. The new rules create more accountability for lobbyist, as well as increase campaign-finance reporting and disclosure of gifts and trips received by elected officials. The regulations also increase the criminal penalties for noncompliance. Council president Zach Kline sponsored the legislation.
The regulations require elected officials to develop ethics policies and training, create a searchable database of campaign contributions and expenditures, and require the hiring of two ethics officers. Critics like former council candidate Joe Motil say some of the provisions, such as the database, are redundant, and the legislation doesn't go far enough in some areas.
The regulations take effect next month.