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New Shelby Township Ethics Policy Demands Officials 'Remain Above Suspicion'

The Shelby Township Board of Trustees adopted a new ethics policy.

The Shelby Township Board of Trustees has adopted a new ethics policy designed to hold elected public officials to high ethical standards of conduct.

The board approved the five-page ethics policy by a 6-1 vote during the Nov. 8 trustees meeting.

“This will further add to the transparency that we already have in place,” said Shelby Township Supervisor Rick Stathakis.

The ethics policy states that all Board members must “remain above suspicion” at all times and earn the public’s trust.

General standards of conduct include:

  • Comply with all laws and policies of township government;
    Be independent, impartial and fair in their judgment and actions;
  • Use their public office for the public good, not for personal gain;
  • Conduct public business openly, as provided by law, in an atmosphere of respect and civility;
  • Cooperate fully with any request of the township Human Resources director for information or assistance subject to law.

The policy further defines the importance of confidentiality, conflict of interests and the township’s strict policy against accepting gifts.

Shelby Township Attorney Rob Huth said the resolution is hard to enforce because any state laws governing public officials conduct would supersede the local resolution.

"I think it would be very difficult to present something to govern (the Board of Trustees) that would have an enforcement provision in it and be seen as something different than what the state law already provides but still be enforceable," he said at the meeting.

Although Trustee Lisa Manzella voted in favor of the ethics policy, before voting she said the document is lacking teeth.

“It’s a start but there is no enforcement… Without enforcement it’s really kind of pointless,” she said.

Trustee Michael Flynn was the lone dissenting vote.

Matt Guarnieri November 17, 2012 at 03:57 PM
My ultimate goal is to inform taxpayers of things that effect taxpayers as a whole. Paper trails that point to corruption or crooked contractors hired by the township, things of this sort. Some people react differently to the truth than others.
David Cashman November 17, 2012 at 05:04 PM
Is this the same board that voted to overturn the anti-corruption, Musical Chair ordinance so they could get their Crony appointed to the board without needing a unanimous vote?
Macomb Rocker November 18, 2012 at 03:14 AM
I think we need someone like Nightengale to question the board. Terri Kowal was good. Ethics?! How many lawsuits Stathekis and his cohorts have racked up. What a joke! The Flynn drama. The IT company that Shelby had said there was no hacking into the computer system. So the company gets axed. Ethics? Stathekis is a lower level Kwame.
Dana Horton November 24, 2012 at 08:54 PM
Now where did you hear or read that? Are you making things up again?
Dana Horton November 27, 2012 at 03:31 AM
Mr Garnier is not happy unless he’s stirring up trouble amongst others.

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