Who is the Ethics Board
The DeKalb Ethics Board was established in its current form in 2016 when a referendum vote overwhelmingly approved of the restructuring of the Board and the addition of a full time Ethics Officer. By law, the Ethics Board is completely independent of the DeKalb CEO, Commissioners and any officers or employees of DeKalb County government.
The Board consists of 7 volunteer members who are appointed by independent organizations: the DeKalb Bar Association, the DeKalb Legislative Delegation, the DeKalb Chamber of Commerce, DeKalb Universities, Leadership DeKalb, the DeKalb Superior Court Chief Judge, the DeKalb Probate Judge. The appointment of board members by independent organizations ensures that the Board is not established with an inherent conflict of interest – appointment of Board member by the same officials whom they also regulate. The Board Members serve staggering terms of three years.
- To provide Advisory Opinions to all officials and employees who seek advice on ethical issues
- To receive and hear complaints regarding ethical violations of employees and officials in DeKalb
- To investigate matters brought by third parties or the Ethics Officer regarding potential violations of the Ethics Code
- To establish Rules regarding its matters within its jurisdiction and provide forms for disclosure
Who is the Ethics Officer?
The Board appoints an Ethics Officer who must be an attorney with no involvement in DeKalb County politics. The Ethics Officer can serve up to 6 years.
The Ethics Officer is charged with:
- Educating and training all County officials and employees on awareness with ethical issues and compliance with the Ethics Code
- Investigating and bringing compliance actions to the Board either by third party complaint or the Ethics Officer’s own investigation
- Administering a hotline for receipt of anonymous complaints and acting upon such complaints
- Reporting annually on the activities of the Ethics Office and the state of DeKalb Ethics