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Hunt Announces More State Government Improvements

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Governor Jim Hunt has signed an executive order giving the state Board of Ethics more power to investigate and prevent conflicts of interest. (WRAL-TV5 News
)
RALEIGH — Governor Jim Hunt is taking one more steptoward improving state government's image. Earlier this week, he tappedNorris Tolson to take over the embattled Department of Transportation.Friday, Hunt signed an executive order giving the state ethics board morepower.

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

The order also calls for pre-appointment screening of board andcommission members, to ensure that anyone with a possible conflict ofinterest doesn't get appointed. There will be an aggressive trainingprogram involved to offer a comprehensive look at what constitutes suchconflicts.

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

Photographer:Lori Foushee

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