Tuesday, October 26, 2004

No Way, to putting Judges on an Ethics Commission

...

Appointing Judges to an ethics commission will only worsen the problem. Judges have gotten their jobs by hobnobbing, doing favors, and being team players sweeping away uncomfortable allegations for friends and other officials, barbecuing those blowing the whistle, and are used to acting how and when they please, all traits you DON’T want on an ethics commission.

Judges, prosecutors, and police have a larger ability to abuse the public than any governor or elected official, period. The U.S. Constitution is only valid if the court system and the police are answerable to the public, but they are not.

To put public trust in a Star Chamber of Judges would be quite insane if the main objective is to make our elected officials and others paid with our tax dollars more apt to act legally, ethically, and in our best interest.

Steven G. Erickson (stevengerickson@yahoo.com)

Can cops rape, rob, beat, and murder with immunity?

American Pathetic Sheep

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New Ethics Plan Calls For Retired Judges

October 26, 2004 Associated Press

Connecticut's attorney general and the president pro tem of the state Senate offered a plan Monday to replace the troubled State Ethics Commission with a panel of retired judges.The two Democrats contend their proposal offers the "sweeping" change needed to restore the state's faith in ethics enforcement among public officials and state employees.

The commission has been attacked for its decision last month to fire Executive Director Alan Plofsky, a critic of former Republican Gov. John G. Rowland. Some commission members, past and present, also have been criticized for not being tough enough this year on Rowland, who was under scrutiny for accepting gifts from employees, state contractors and others.

Attorney General Richard Blumenthal said ethics rules should not be enforced by political appointees. The existing nine-member ethics panel is made up of appointees from legislative leaders and the governor.

"We must take politics out of ethics enforcement and put ethics into politics," Blumenthal said.

Under the plan from Blumenthal and Senate President Pro Tem Donald E. Williams Jr., D-Brooklyn, a new Office of State Ethics would be created as an independent office under the State Auditors of Public Accounts. Staff would include an executive director, chief counsel, staff attorneys and investigators.

The chief court administrator of the Judicial Branch would select six retired judges, known as state trial referees, to sit on a new Judicial Ethics Panel to oversee and decide matters on a new Judicial Ethics Docket.

Their concept clashes with Gov. M. Jodi Rell's reform proposal. The Republican governor wants to keep a politically appointed commission, but she wants to limit the number of lawyers to ensure it represents a cross-section of Connecticut citizens.

"The governor believes there is something important with a citizen panel and the involvement of citizens, and her proposal is a very bipartisan, independent citizens' panel," said Dennis Schain, spokesman for Rell.

The controversy surrounding the Ethics Commission has prompted numerous calls for reform, despite members' assertions that they've acted in a nonpartisan and professional manner.

Williams first suggested replacing the commission with a new Office of State Ethics several weeks ago. On Monday, he and Blumenthal offered a detailed a proposal that Williams plans to present to the legislature in January.

"If I had to choose to between Gov. Rell's proposal and this proposal, this one is a home run by comparison," said Lt. Gov. Kevin Sullivan, a Democrat.

"It offers at least the independence that has clearly been missing in the current commission."

The above was found here:
http://www.ctnow.com/

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