Ethics Reform: One final Step to completion

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The ethics reform legislation proposed by Ward 4 Council Member Muriel Bowser (D) earlier in the year has been passed by the council and signed by Mayor Vincent Gray (D). However, the last step in the process is for D.C. voters to vote the legislation into law in the general election in the fall.

The Council approved what voters will see on the ballot on November 6th . according to the official summary of the language, voters may see this on the ballot in the fall:

• “This Charter Amendment, if passed, would permit the Council to adopt a resolution to expel a Councilmember upon a 5/6 vote of its members upon demonstrating that Councilmember’s gross failure to meet the highest standards of conduct and upon establishing procedures for the expulsion of a Councilmember.”

• “This Charter Amendment, if passed, would make anyone who is convicted of a felony while holding the office of Councilmember ineligible to remain in the office and ineligible to ever hold the office again.”

• “This Charter Amendment, if passed, would make anyone who is convicted of a felony while holding the office of Mayor ineligible to remain in office and ineligible to ever hold the office again.

One major change that has to be voted on by District residents is the amendment about convicted felons. As the law currently stands, only physically being sent to prison for a felony is reason enough to be kicked off the council. As part of the new legislation, though, the standard was changed so that any office-holder convicted of a felony during their term would be ineligible to hold office ever again.

D.C. residents will sound off about the bill, either voting it into law or letting it fail. If this legislation passes it will affect people like Harry Thomas Jr. from never serving again and Ward 7 Republican council candidate, Ronald Moten would not be allowed on the council, if he wins his election.

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