Without getting into a lengthy philosophical discussion, let us agree that a reasonable minimum standard for the ethics of a government official, any government official, is to follow the law as it is written in the law and then understood by the government official in question.

Now, the law does not exist in a vacuum. Often there are professional standards in various fields such as accounting, engineering or medicine, and when the accepted practices in those fields are violated, then there are often questions of law regarding damages to somebody that are sure to follow.

Of course, what has just been said about government officials should also apply to corporate or public utility executives as well. After all, corporations do not exist except with the permission of the state, and public utilities generally operate as monopolies in their service areas under some sort of me-only franchise agreement that is government-approved and government-protected.

Some questions:

What were the ethics of the previous city manager of Lemon Grove in the 2000-01 real estate negotiations between SDG&E, Carter Reese & Associates and Lemon Grove in allowing SDG&E to demolish (not "renovate" as initially alleged) the 9 miles of gas holder bottle pipeline at the old Encanto Gas Holder site without any asbestos abatement precautions being required by the City of Lemon Grove? Curious taxpayers in Lemon Grove are watching...

What are the ethical problems in the state's Department of Toxic Substance Control (DTSC) allowing a local public utility to become a defendant in a federal environmental crimes trial... especially after DTSC used the defendant-supplied test samples to determine there is and has been no asbestos fibers at that site? Before answering, recall that a jury did return a guilty verdict against the local public utility defendant/sample provider for "fraud/false statements in general to government inspectors" at the site...

What are the ethics of a redevelopment corporation president approving her own bonuses, signing off on her own expense statements, and then claiming everything is just fine because that's the way her predecessor did it over a decade and a half ago?

What are the ethics of the same corporate president who is accepting a 90-day grace period and hefty bonus on being fired unanimously by the redevelopment corporation board of directors?


Unless you feel ambitious, the questions are rhetorical. On the other hand, feel free to answer or even add more questions in the comments below...

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