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Ethics Code Overlooked In Contracts For City Projects

Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2013

Although the Augusta, Georgia ethics code says it is illegal, at least one commissioner has confirmed his company has been a subcontractor on a city project.

“The amount of money is not that much (that) we make for profit,” says Commissioner Wayne Guilfoyle. His tile company did work at the airport--$70,000 worth of work -- in direct violation of the city’s code of ethics. “The bidding process started before I came on board,” he explained. “I didn’t hide anything from the media or any one of my colleagues. I abstained on every issue.”

The code states clearly “It shall be unethical for any Augusta-Richmond County Employee or public official to transact in an business or participate directly or indirectly in a procurement contract.”

Commissioner Alvin Mason responded by saying, “There shouldn’t be a single commissioner up here benefiting directly or indirectly dealing with government dollars.” There may be others who are also working for the city, according to the report by the television station WRDW. The commissioners are responsible for deciding how to deal with the violations.

Discussion questions:

  • Is it enough to recuse yourself from a vote when your company is benefiting from a public contract?
  • What action do you think the commissioners should take?

Tags: ethics codes, public contracting

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