Barry probes prompt D.C. ethics code

Sept. 22, 2009 at 8:49 AM
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WASHINGTON, Sept. 22 (UPI) -- The investigations of Marion Barry have prompted consideration of the first ethics code for Washington, D.C., city council members, observers say.

Barry, a former Washington mayor and now city council member, is being investigated over a decision to award a city contract to a woman he had been dating, as well as allegations that he directed council funding to non-profit organizations controlled by his staff, The Washington Post reported Tuesday.

In response, an ethics proposal by district council Chairman Vincent Gray would mandate that council members need to uphold "unusually high standards of honesty, integrity, impartiality" and that the "avoidance of misconduct and conflicts of interest on the part of council members is indispensable." The Post said the measure would establish formal ethical guidelines that many governing bodies have employed for years.

"This will help create more clarity in the future," Gray told the Post, adding he might propose additional rules.

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