December 5, 2016 •

Akron Councilman Indicted on Conflict of Interest Charges

The Summit County grand jury indicted Akron Councilman Bob Hoch on three first-degree misdemeanor charges. Hoch was accused more than a year ago of violating Ohio conflict of interest laws by voting on legislation and speaking on issues benefitting his […]

bobhochcopy-srv_1455040352The Summit County grand jury indicted Akron Councilman Bob Hoch on three first-degree misdemeanor charges. Hoch was accused more than a year ago of violating Ohio conflict of interest laws by voting on legislation and speaking on issues benefitting his sons, who are Akron firefighters.

The three counts pertain to actions taken in 2012, as well as an ongoing alleged conflict between 2014 and 2015.

Hoch previously denied a conflict of interest existed, as did City Council President Marilyn Keith. If convicted, Hoch could face up to 18 months in jail and lose his council seat.

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May 27, 2016 •

Ethics Complaint Alleges Potential Conflict of Interest Violations for Canadian Officials

Democracy Watch, a political accountability group, has filed an ethics complaint with Federal Commissioner of Lobbying Karen Shepherd questioning the permissibility of gifts of paid travel from various lobbying groups to senators and members of Parliament. The group claims such […]

Flag of CanadaDemocracy Watch, a political accountability group, has filed an ethics complaint with Federal Commissioner of Lobbying Karen Shepherd questioning the permissibility of gifts of paid travel from various lobbying groups to senators and members of Parliament.

The group claims such gifts violate a rule prohibiting lobbyists from creating the appearance of a conflict of interest for public officials.

The complaint also requests an official other than Shepherd decide the issue because she has expressed interest in members of Parliament reappointing her to the position when her term ends in July.

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September 11, 2015 •

Bill Changes Disclosure Thresholds for California Public Officials

The State Assembly has passed Assembly Bill 10 and sent it to the governor. This bill contains provisions affecting elected officials’ disclosure of financial investments and conflicts of interest. It requires public officials to provide more detailed information about their […]

CA CapitolThe State Assembly has passed Assembly Bill 10 and sent it to the governor.

This bill contains provisions affecting elected officials’ disclosure of financial investments and conflicts of interest. It requires public officials to provide more detailed information about their business dealings and investments.

It also raises the thresholds used to decide if an official’s investments create a conflict of interest.

AB 10 is linked to Senate Bill 21, which also passed and has been sent to the governor. In order for these bills to become law, both must be signed.

Photo of the California State Capitol by Nikopoley on Wikimedia Commons.

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September 3, 2015 •

MSRB Seeks Approval from SEC for Gift Rule Amendments

On September 2, the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board (MSRB) requested approval from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for amendments to MSRB Rule G-20, a conflict-of-interest rule concerning gifts and gratuities. The proposed amendments include limiting gifts to $100 for […]

Rule G-20On September 2, the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board (MSRB) requested approval from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for amendments to MSRB Rule G-20, a conflict-of-interest rule concerning gifts and gratuities. The proposed amendments include limiting gifts to $100 for municipal advisors giving gifts to employees of entities engaged in municipal securities activities. The new rules for municipal advisors also would prohibit receiving reimbursement of entertainment expenses from the proceeds of an offering of municipal securities.

“Amending the MSRB’s existing gifts rule would ensure common standards for dealers and municipal advisors that all operate in the municipal securities market,” said MSRB Executive Director Lynnette Kelly in a press release.

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September 1, 2015 •

Hillary Clinton Supports Financial Services Conflict of Interest Act

On August 31, in a column on the Huffingtonpost.com, Hillary Clinton announced her support for a bill to limit the revolving door between the financial sector and the federal government. In the post, Clinton and Sen. Tammy Baldwin, the sponsor […]

HRC in Iowa APR 2015On August 31, in a column on the Huffingtonpost.com, Hillary Clinton announced her support for a bill to limit the revolving door between the financial sector and the federal government.

In the post, Clinton and Sen. Tammy Baldwin, the sponsor of the bill, specifically emphasized the bill would prohibit private sector employers from offering bonuses to employees when they leave to join the government.

House Resolution 3065, the Financial Services Conflict of Interest Act, also increases the prohibition on lobbying the federal government from one to two years, expands the definition of lobbying contact to include any lobbying activities and strategy, and requires senior financial service regulators to recuse themselves from any official actions directly or substantially benefiting the former employers or clients for whom they worked in the previous two years before joining federal service. The press release for the bill can be found here.

Photo of Hillary Clinton by Hillary for Iowa on Wikimedia Commons.

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