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Palm Beach County works to form Watchdog Position

September 28, 2009

PalmBeachThe Palm Beach Post has an extensive report on the county’s effort to install an ethics watchdog.

There’s broad support for an inspector general’s office with subpoena powers to keep an eye on local public officials, lobbyists and contractors.

But then the consensus breaks down.

A consortium of business and civic leaders says the inspector should be hired and fired and have its budget set by an independent ethics commission.

County officials propose the inspector be chosen by an outside panel but approved by a commission vote, financed through the county budget process and fired if five of seven commissioners agree. Commissioners haven’t endorsed anything yet. They can wait until June to agree on a plan and put it on the November 2010 ballot.

The ethics consortium has less time. If it can’t persuade commissioners to endorse its view of the inspector general, the group has vowed to gather 58,200 signatures to put its version on the 2010 ballot.

Who will hold leash on ethics watchdog? [Palm Beach Post]

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