AZ…leading the way once again (not in a good way)
I am from Louisiana, and ethics in general in Louisiana has its tarnished reputation, for sure. However, I have never witnessed anything quite like the Arizona legislature’s conflict of interest definition. The entire regulation hinges upon the distinction between a public officer’s having a “substantial interest” or a “remote interest” in some transaction that could benefit the public official. Those with a “substantial interest” are to “refrain” from participating in transactions that benefit them.
“Substantial interest”: Refrain. Sounds good.
The Danger of “Remote Control”
The definition of “remote interest” is what makes Arizona’s conflict of interest guidelines virtually useless. In short, if nine others stand to benefit in equal measure to the potential benefit gained by the public official, then the transaction is not restricted.
Go ahead and take a moment to read that last sentence one more time.
It gets better: There is no established agency to oversee, monitor, investigate, or otherwise determine whether a…
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