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Here is an interesting headline from the Washington Daily News. “Commissioners reject ethics code.” 

The Daily News reports that the Beaufort County Commission, led by right-wing zealot and unsuccessful Republican state Senate candidate Hood Richardson, voted along party lines not to approve a four-page code of ethics for commissioners that is similar to ones adopted by other counties.

State law requires local boards to adopt a formal ethics policy, but that apparently doesn’t bother Richardson and his conservative colleagues on the commission.

County Manager Paul Spruill told the board the four-page Code of Ethics was intended to generally give elected officials in North Carolina local governments “guidance in areas of conflict of interest.”

Richardson took issue with the policy, saying it is “another tool that can be used by people’s enemies” to trap government officials.

Richardson has a point. Nobody can say that you have violated an ethics policy if one doesn’t exist.  Another great day for open government.

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