City Council to Crash SMU Ethics Conference

But two weeks ago Jerry Allen kicked off a meeting of the Dallas City Council's Budget, Finance and Audit Committee by boldly announcing that the city's been "tainted by ethical acts, and the challenge for us is to find ways to establish a clear ethical standard and use it to reduce the negative perceptions that rightly exist with citizens." To which Schutze responded: Bwahaha!

But, look, Jim -- they're serious. So much so they're taking a few minutes out of their Wednesday briefing to field-trip over to the Hilltop, where SMU's Cary M. Maguire Center for Ethics & Public Responsibility and the Cox School of Business are holding a daylong conference titled "Ethics, Trust & Transparency: Business, Government and the Case for Voter Concern." Not exactly sure for which panel, though: The council agenda says 10 a.m., which I guess means departure, which would get them to SMU in time for the panel "Ethical Leadership in Government," featuring, among others, Don Fox, acting director and general counsel for the U.S. Office of Government Ethics.

Per SMU's own heads-up, other elected officials from 'round the area will also join in; hence Maguire Center director Rita Kirk's note that their attendance will make "a bold statement about our community's commitment to ethics." (To which Schutze responded ... well, you know.) Those who can't attend, or don't feel like ponying up the $40, can watch here live when the time comes.

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