The Proposal

The proposed Charter amendment will require the City to amend and adopt a best-practices ethics policy with a number of key characteristics.

Oversight will be provided by an independent ethics commission. The 5 commissioners would be City of Naples voters appointed by the State Attorney for the Twentieth Judicial District (1), the Public Defender for the Twentieth Judicial District (1), the Collier County Sheriff (1), the Board of Commissioners of Collier County (1), and City Council (1) to make sure that the appropriate expertise and interests are all represented. All these appointing authorities are elected officials.

The work of the commission would be carried out by an ethics office staffed by a qualified ethics director and if necessary other staff and investigators, subject to City Council's approval of the budget.

 

Activities of the commission and/or the ethics office would include:

  • Propose amendments of the City's ethics ordinance to City Council

  • Advise City Council on ethical matters

  • Develop and provide training in ethical matters for City employees and officials

  • Provide formal and informal consultation on specific ethical questions to City employees and officials

  • Receive and investigate complaints

  • Issue reports on ethical matters and confirmed ethical violations

  • Levy penalties, statements of censure, and recommendations for removal consistent with the ethics ordinance

  • Hire and supervise staff consistent with City of Naples practices

  • Propose a budget to City Council for these activities

The Charter amendment leaves the details to be proposed by the commission and approved by City Council. Placing the basic structure, independence and authority of the ethics commission in the Charter means that only voters can change it. Leaving most of the details out of the Charter means that ethics commissioners and City Council can adjust the related ethics ordinance and procedures as circumstances require.

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