In line with the City Council’s 2019-21 Tactic “to conduct a biannual review of the City’s Code of Ethics,” City staff presented an overview of the current Code (last updated in 2018) at Monday’s City Council work session, with recommendations for refinements and additions. The Code of Ethics, first adopted in 2010, applies to the City Council and all City Boards and Commissions (a.k.a. “city officers”). It covers ethics violations such as financial conflicts of interest, as well as the reporting procedure and consequences for such violations.

Proposed amendments include several new ethics standards:

  • The requirement for City Council members to file a personal financial statement and ethics disclosure statement (as required by Texas law)
  • Giving the city attorney, as well as outside counsel if needed, the power to subpoena witnesses and obtain records
  • Making it unlawful for any person to fail to obey a subpoena in such an investigation or to refuse to provide records requested

In addition, a new Acknowledgement section would require that each officer receive a copy of the Code of Ethics upon their election/appointment, with the officer having 90 days to file with the City Secretary an acknowledgement that they have read it.

The amendments will be further refined to incorporate feedback received at Monday’s work session and will be voted on by the City Council at its Nov. 2 meeting.