Lexington’s General Government and Social Services Committee has voted to revise the city’s ethics law.
The ethics ordinance has been in existence for close to two decades, but never undergone such extensive revisions.
Earlier this year, council member Sasha Love Higgins resigned her post on the governing board after facing an indictment on theft charges.
Vice Mayor Steve Kay asked that a provision to allow for “removal from office” be studied in committee.
“There’s again, I think, a concern that, for certain kinds of misconduct we have no opportunity to act on that to basically protect the integrity of this body,” said Kay.
Council Member Angela Evans, who offered the report of the council work group, said a “removal from office” provision is not allowed under Lexington’s current government structure.
Council Member Bill Farmer expressed hesitation about such a change. “If someone is involved in a court proceeding, I don’t think we should act before that court proceeding is done. It’s just my personal point of view I think that could be prejudicial to whatever is going on there,” Farmer said.
Evans, meanwhile, says the revised ethics ordinance does include a great deal of additional language including wording on financial and private interests, conflicts of interest, and a list of penalties.
A full council vote is expected this fall.