Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Free tickets cause change in Shelby ethics policy


(HT: TN Politics)

The U of M has contracts with the county, and a pair of season tickets is worth $360, so commissioners had to return them.

The issue of the tickets led commissioners to support amending the ethics policy to allow them to accept gifts worth more than $200, provided all commissioners are awarded the same thing and all gifts are fully disclosed.

County Commissioners were forced to return University of Memphis season football tickets this year because of a tougher ethics policy, but they'll be back in their seats next year after they approved a change Monday.

The tougher ethics policy took effect in June and put a $200 limit on gifts from groups with which the county does business.

On Monday, in a 7-6 vote along party lines, commissioners approved the change on third and final reading.

"I don't think any commissioner is going to find themselves in the position where $200 or $100 basketball tickets or any ticket from any entity is going to influence their vote," said Democratic commissioner Sidney Chism, who originally sponsored the amendment.