Public Integrity Coalition Aims to Curb Corruption

Jul 29, 2014

Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller says the state’s Public Integrity Coalition is developing strategies  from the local level up to state government aimed at curbing public corruption. Those strategies could include new legislation.

The Public Integrity Coalition, formed three months ago, brings together groups such as the Attorney  General’s office, the State Board of Accounts – which is responsible for auditing all levels of government  in the state – the Indiana Association of Cities and Towns, and law enforcement groups around the state. 

To improve the culture of public service, the Coalition is exploring creating a model ethics code  that local government units could adopt and strengthening whistleblower protection Laws.

State  Examiner Paul Joyce, who heads the Board of Accounts, says the solutions to improving public integrity  don’t always include legislative action.

“Letting them know what their expectations are," says Joyce, "what does their community expect of them? Maybe that’s having them sign a document when they’re hired on of what your expectations are.” 

Attorney General Greg Zoeller says whatever the answers, it’s important they be developed from the  local level up.

“If legislators hear from their local municipal government leaders, school systems, and all the other local  entities," says Zoeller, "I think we’ll have a much stronger case than if the Attorney General, the State Board of Accounts  and state players go to the legislature.” 

Zoeller says potential legislative avenues could include mandatory ethics training for officials at all levels  of government in the state.