Top prosecutor says ethics watchdog needs dedicated money source to be independentby George Bennett | October 1st, 2009
McAuliffe, who convened a grand jury that recommended an inspector general to combat public corruption after five local elected officials went to federal prison for ethical misdeeds, spoke to the nonpartisan Voters Coalition this afternoon.
McAuliffe did not take a position on competing views of who should hire and fire the inspector general. The Voters Coalition is part of a consortium of business and civic groups that says the watchdog should answer to an independent ethics commission. County administrators have proposed having the inspector chosen by an independent selection committee but subject to final approval by the county commission.
The grand jury recommended modeling the office on the inspector general in Miami-Dade, where a selection committee chooses the inspector but commissioners have a final vote. Miami-Dade also imposes a 0.25 percent charge on government contracts to help finance the inspector’s office.
McAuliffe said he’s optimistic the consortium and commissioners will reach an agreement on inspector-general language to put before voters in November 2010.