Local News

Hunt Announces More State Government Improvements

Posted January 16, 1998 12:00 a.m. EST

— Governor Jim Hunt is taking one more step toward improving state government's image. Earlier this week, he tapped Norris Tolson to take over the embattled Department of Transportation. Friday, Hunt signed an executive order giving the state ethics board more power.

That board currently has very limited power, but Friday, Hunt signed off on Executive Order 127, giving the board more money and more leeway to investigate possible conflicts of interest. He said it's part of his new effort to keep state government clean, and that the order applies to those who already sit on state boards and commissions, and those who will do so in the future.

The order also calls for pre-appointment screening of board and commission members, to ensure that anyone with a possible conflict of interest doesn't get appointed. There will be an aggressive training program involved to offer a comprehensive look at what constitutes such conflicts.

As he talked at length about restoring the public's faith in state government, Hunt also called on legislators to pass a similar ethics law that would apply to other state employees.

Photographer:Lori Foushee