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Abstract

Investigations by the New York Temporary State Commission on Local Government Ethics has revealed serious problems in local government ethics laws. While in large part local officials behave ethically, due to lack of adequate guidance provided by existing local ethics rules, these officials are often perceived as acting unethically. The commission's investigations reveals a long list of commonplace activities by local officials that, while questionable, do not technically violate existing local ethics standards. The Model Local Ethics Law proposed by the commission, which was not seriously considered by the State legislature, would do much to clarify the bounds of ethical conduct by local government officials. The Model law is presented with extensive commentary provided by the author.

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