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Commentary: An open ethics process is essential if Republicans truly want accountability

Posted by   /  February 5, 2020  /  No Comments

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(Editor’s note: Opinion pieces are published for discussion purposes only.)

By Jenny Guzman | Arizona Mirror

Republicans in the Arizona State House of Representatives are considering changing their ethics rules to make it more difficult to submit complaints. It’s hard to imagine a worse time for a change like this. 

Related: Two ethics complaints filed against Rep. David Cook

Over the past few years, multiple scandals have clouded the Arizona House of Representatives. The complaints have come from both inside and outside of the legislature. Currently, the rules allow anyone affected to submit complaints, which the House Ethics Committee can then investigate. After an investigation concludes, the committee can then recommend further action to the full House.

This is not an appropriate time for the House of Representatives to weaken the ethics rules. Keeping the complaint process open and accessible is crucial at a moment when multiple legislators have been exposed for their predatory behavior. 

If a legislator does or says something inappropriate or harmful, the people impacted should be able to seek accountability. A code of conduct needs to be established, and the ethics violations process should be as transparent, fair and accessible as possible.

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