Subcommittee Report on the Establishment of a State Ethics Commission

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Noel, Jim; Sanchez, Leonard; Bluestone, Stuart; McCoy, Kathy; Winter, Brad; Carey, John
State of New Mexico
Governmental Ethics; State Ethics Commissions; Political Reform; New Mexico; Laws; Governmental Conduct; Law
report description
The establishment of a State Ethics Commission relates directly to ethics reform in the state of New Mexico. Such a commission does not exist in New Mexico, the establishment of which would represent a tangible and concrete manifestation of a state commitment to ethics reform, as well as the top-down expectation that state officials (elected or otherwise) will be held to the highest standard of conduct in the performance of their duties. In addition, while New Mexico does have statutory proscriptions against certain kinds or conduct or requiring other kinds of conduct (i.e., the Government Conduct Act, the Procurement Act, Campaign Practices Act), there is no common set of ethical guidelines that apply uniformly to all executive agencies, elected officials, and employees. Moreover, there is no agency or organization that is charged with receiving reports of ethical misconduct, investigating such reports, and taking action as necessary, including disciplinary action. A state ethics commission could be established to do exactly that. This report reviews the options for establishing a state ethics commission and provides recommendations.