Finney: Constituents can listen to ethics review

Sen. Raymond Finney, in response to inquiries from constituents, has asked the executive director of the Tennessee Ethics Commission to speak to the relationship between the state commission and local government officials as it pertains to ethics.

In a letter to the editor, Finney writes, “I frequently receive inquiries from constituents concerning the application of Tennessee’s ethics law to local government officials. Tennessee’s ethics law, enacted in 2006, provides rather weak, limited oversight of local government officials. Such officials are required to file disclosure of interest statements with the Tennessee Ethics Commission, but the commission does not enforce certain code violations.”

Annually, said Finney, the general assembly members attend a mandatory review of the state’s ethics law. That review for 2008 will be at 10 a.m. Thursday, Jan. 10. It is available through a live Internet video stream for viewers to watch live, or they can access archived tapes after the meeting.

“I recently wrote the executive director of the Tennessee Ethics Commission, Bruce Androphy, asking him to discuss the commission’s role in overseeing ethical and legal behavior of local government officials, and he has promised to include this topic in this year’s presentation,” said Finney. “I recommend that any interested government official or citizen listen to Mr. Androphy, as he explains what the commission can or cannot do about local government issues.”

The Tennessee Ethics Commission also provides a toll-free telephone number for any person to call about a question of ethics in government. The number is: 1-866-416-4730.

To access the video stream:

•n Go to the General Assembly’s Website, www.legislature.state.tn.us .

• On the menu bar, click the second heading, “Senate.”

• Under Senate, click the fourth subheading, “Video Streaming.”

• Options on that page are to watch current proceedings (live video streaming) or past proceedings (tape archives).

Finney has also posted the instructions on his Website: www.raymondfinney.com/video.html.

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