Despite new CPS scandal, governments reluctant to establish zero-tolerance policy

By Joel Hood, Chicago Tribune reporter

March 25, 2012

Concerned over a rash of ethics violations by city employees in 2010, Inspector General Joseph Ferguson urged Mayor Richard M. Daley to implement a citywide ban on gifts from businesses who contract with the government.

The city’s Board of Ethics quickly rejected the idea, saying that while a zero-tolerance gift ban might make sense for some departments, enforcing it citywide would send the message that “city employees are essentially corrupt and cannot be trusted to use good judgment.”…But using reasoning similar to Rollert’s, the Ethics Board said a ban on all gifts might restrict employees from taking “prudent business trips,” could foster a climate of “cynicism around government ethics” and may even make the problem worse by “driving gift-giving underground.” Read more.

jhood@tribune.com

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