Local Politics

Perdue tightens up state ethics rules

Posted April 5, 2010

— High-level state employees would have to wait longer to become lobbyists or go to work for companies they once regulated, under a set of ethics guidelines Gov. Beverly Perdue unveiled Monday.

Perdue also signed an executive order requiring people seeking an appointment to a state board or commission to disclose any criminal charges, tax difficulties, grievances filed against them and potential conflicts of interest.

North Carolina flag, NC flag, state flag, N.C. flag Reformers call Perdue's moves first step

The push comes as a top aide to former Gov. Mike Easley faces federal corruption charges and Easley continues to be investigated by a federal grand jury. In recent years, former House Speaker Jim Black, former Agriculture Commissioner Meg Scott Phipps, former lottery commissioner Kevin Geddings and former state Rep. Thomas Wright have been convicted and sent to prison.

"I really don't like for people to feel like those of us who serve do not have ethical behavior. That's personally offensive," Perdue said. "The people of North Carolina should rightfully expect and deserve integrity from their public servants."

The "Good Government Legislative Package" that the governor wants state lawmakers to approve includes steps to limit the influence of contractors on state employees, such requiring former state employees to wait at least one year before lobbying agencies or working for companies that do business with their former agency.

Also, contractors wouldn't be able to provide political contributions to officeholders who oversee their contracts. That provision would affect members of the Council of State, such as prohibiting a state treasurer from accepting donations from investment firms that help manage the state pension funds.

The package also calls for any state worker convicted of a felony related to his or her position to forfeit his or her state pension and extends a ban on accepting gifts to all state employees.

Government reform advocates praised the moves.

"We don't care whether it's political factors that drive this. We don't care if it's a long-seated interest in government reform. All we care about is, when they take office, the people of North Carolina are the first thing on their mind," said Damon Circosta, executive director of the North Carolina Center for Voter Education.

"I take this package as a wonderful step forward but with other steps to come. I think there's still more to do," said Jane Pinsky, director of the North Carolina Coalition for Lobbying and Government Reform.

Pinsky said she hopes the next step includes legislation for tougher campaign finance reporting.

State Republican Party Chairman Tom Fetzer quickly criticized Perdue's moves, noting her campaign has had questionable donations that have prompted a state probe.

"(The) press conference is another example of political double-talk from the governor," Fetzer said in a statement. "All of North Carolina would applaud her words, if they were only reinforced by her own actions."


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  • davidbh61255 Apr 7, 2010

    Can you legislate honesty??

  • anti-Mako Apr 6, 2010

    Start by looking at the mirror Bev!

  • chfdcpt Apr 5, 2010

    Like any good politician, lets make the regular state employee have to perform BOHICA every day, while the folks at the legislature and appointees will still get by with it.

    Who just wrote like the fox guarding the hen house?

  • personality Apr 5, 2010

    Can anyone tell me how someone can implement ethic rules when you have broken rules yourself?

    That seems kind of illogical to me.........does that make any sense at all?

  • WHEEL Apr 5, 2010

    "I really don't like for people to feel like those of us who serve do not have ethical behavior. That's personally offensive," Perdue said. So change your PERSONAL behavior!

  • csplantlover Apr 5, 2010

    This woman is an embarrassment to the state of NC.......I say she needs to be run out of town -

  • VT1994Hokie Apr 5, 2010

    Bev better be making sure that she hasn't broken too many laws herself. One-termer, if the D's ever read anything.

  • Garnerwolf1 Apr 5, 2010

    pbj: you start a little early this afternoon?

  • AnotherIgnoredComment Apr 5, 2010

    Why doesn't our govenor start by outing Frank Bordeux, overchared MEdicaid by 5 million, only had to pay back 4 million and no criminal charges, primary is soon, why not push the AG to seek charges?

  • pbjbeach Apr 5, 2010

    I say that it is about time that she proposes changes that will allow for state employees to be able to once again be gainfully employeed after retirng for or being terminated from a state government agency position without allowing for contractors to be able to have influence into wheather or not they are allowed to be hired within the private sectors doing the basic same jobs that they were engaged in while in the employement of state government. contractors have been allowed to have to much influence over state employees hirng firing an promontional oppurnities for way way to long. the only people that should be allowed to be haveing input into any decesion over state employees is the state personal board an the states directors of state personnel an not to allow for contractoring enity's to have say so over state employees benefits hiring firings or promontional oppurnities period or any other concerns as it pertains to state employees working of former employees should not be bei