Members of a city board charged with reviewing ethics complaints against Tacoma’s top managers and elected officials are seeking subpoena power to help them in their cause.
“In order to conduct our duties, we feel that (subpoena power) is something that would be necessary,” Sean Armentrout, chairman of the city’s Board of Ethics, told Tacoma City Council members last week.
The recommendation to empower the five-member ethics panel with special legal authority to command subjects or witnesses of an investigation to testify or disclose records is among a host of proposed revisions to the city’s ethics code.
The City Council is expected to consider the board’s recommendations at its regular meeting Tuesday.
Among its suggestions, the board wants to revise the code’s section on “prohibited conduct” for city officials and employees. It wants to remove “an appearance of impropriety” from the list of barred conduct, because it’s “too vague and subjective,” Armentrout said.
The board also wants to broaden a definition for city officials’ conflicts of interest to include financial relationships beyond just contractual ones now cited in the code, he added.
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