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Editorials

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Furthermore …

Fixing an ethics dilemma

The Allen County commissioners should consider revisiting the ethics code after the county’s ethics commission dropped its investigation into Sheriff Ken Fries over the traffic stop involving County Councilman Paul Moss.

The commission dropped the matter because the county’s ordinance includes officials and employees “not otherwise subject to a code of ethics.” The Indiana Sheriff’s Association has such a code.

The problem is that membership in the association is voluntary, and there is no penalty for violating the code. One might quibble with the definition of “subject” in the county code – arguably, Fries is not under the control or authority of the association’s code. But if the commissioners truly want to enforce an ethics policy, perhaps they should drop the “other code” language.

This is not to suggest Fries violated the code. But it would best serve constituents if the investigation into the actions of both Fries and Moss were allowed to proceed.

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