Committee continues to work on ethics reform

Committee continues to work on ethics reform



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SALT LAKE CITY -- The legislative session may be over, but there's no summer break for a joint House and Senate ethics panel.

A group of 16 lawmakers will serve on the interim committee to take a long, hard look at the ethics complaint process. The move comes after a rude awakening last year, including several allegations in the State Treasurer's race.

"What we're going to look at is the whole investigative process, from how an ethics complaint is filed, what is the process to review that complaint, to then investigate the complaint," says House Ethics Committee co-chair John Dougall.

The joint committee hopes to make some big changes to a process that Dougall calls "broken."

"We need to have a process that meets the public's needs, that's fair to legislators, and that executes justice in the end," he says.

Dougall says everyone recognizes how important this issue is to the state, from lawmakers to regular citizens.

"The complexity of this topic was such that during the session we couldn't adequately address it. That's why we have the summer study to work on it," he said.

The panel will receive input from other lawmakers, as well. They'll draft legislation and propose it to the State Legislature most likely next session.

E-mail: pmchardy@ksl.com

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Paul McHardy

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