Butler and Ackerson co-sponsor ethics amendments revisions
Tuesday March 10, 2009
For Immediate Release
Louisville Metro Council
Contact: Tony Hyatt 574-4137/ 526-3622
Council members Marianne Butler (D-15) and Jon Ackerson (R-18) have filed an ordinance that amends the current Metro Ethics Code to cover prompt action in filing a complaint against someone as well as more detailed information about what violations have occurred. The new measure is in line with the State Personnel Code.
“We are taking a very good ethics ordinance and making it stronger,” says Butler.
The amendments require more detailed information about a complaint.
“There are new provisions that require sworn testimony as well as witnesses,” says Ackerson. “If false information is filed, the person who filed the complaint would be subject to criminal action and a fine. This is a way to cut down on frivolous complaints but also lets the public know the seriousness of making a complaint.”
The Butler/Ackerson ordinance also covers the area of technology when it comes to resources like the internet involving political activity.
“For some time, many Council members have been subject to electronic e-mail blasts that have either supplied wrong information about where a person stood on an issue, or incorrect information about the issue itself,” says Butler. “There is nothing wrong with using the internet to inform someone about a meeting or an event. It is a completely different story if you are just trying to score political points.”
The revisions do not allow anyone to use electronic email blasts to push a political position or advocate a political candidate. There are additional restrictions on how a Metro officer’s name can be used in a home or web page.
The changes also call for faster action by the Metro Ethics Commission. Within 60 days the commission must hold a hearing. The amendment would then require a ruling within ten days of the hearing.
"I have worked hard with Councilwoman Butler on this Ethics Ordinance;"said Ackerson. “I feel the provisions on this Ordinance will provide a good framework for ethical standards in government.”
Marianne Butler (D) 15
Jon Ackerson (D) 18