Strong Ethics legislation enacted by NCC Council
Wilmington News Journal April 13, 2005
The powers of the New Castle County Ethics Commission were strengthened Tuesday with a new law that allows the commission to investigate officials and employees up to five years after they stop working for the county. Nonelected employees who violate the ethics policy also would be banned from employment or appointment to a county post for 10 years. County Councilman Robert Weiner, who sponsored the legislation, said the ordinance gives the commission the ability to pursue investigations against former County Executive Tom Gordon and Chief Administrative Officer Sherry Freebery, even though the pair have been out of public office since January. Gordon and Freebery have been accused of racketeering, wire fraud and mail fraud as part of a federal indictment alleging they used their public positions for their personal benefit. They have pleaded not guilty. "Good government has to be more than just efficient," Weiner said. "It has to be honest and ethical." The ordinance, which passed unanimously, came out of suggestions from the Ethics Commission on how to give the body more teeth. The new law also requires officials and employees to file financial disclosure forms or face a $10-a-day penalty.
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