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Serving Two Masters: Government and Non-Profit Service
Summary of Remarks by LeeAnn Pelham at the August 10, 2009, Ethics Roundtable for Local Officials
Public Servants should consider the following issues when they must balance potential conflicts of interest between their role in local government and their service to non-profit organizations:
Pelham concluded by reminding the Roundtable participants that "you don't give up your citizenship when you take public office." Your personal values and areas of interest are going to be a part of your life as an elected official.
However, skepticism runs high among the public who may well consider politics by its nature to be unethical, she said. That is why it is especially important to show the voters that you are looking out for their interests, not just your own personal favorite causes.
LeeAnn Pelham is the executive director of the Los Angeles Ethics Commission.