Board approves ethics ordinance

The Macomb County Board of Commissioners has approved an ordinance establishing a standard of ethics for all public servants in the county.

The recent action makes Macomb the largest county in Michigan to have such a code of conduct, officials said, and the only county in the tri-county area.

The ordinance, required under the new county charter that took effect January 1, defines a public servant as “an employee, county-wide elected official, commissioner, or appointee.”

According to Commissioner Fred Miller, who chaired the Ethics Ordinance Ad Hoc Committee, the 10-page document cracks down on issues such as nepotism, gifts and the inappropriate use of county time and property while setting tough guidelines for disclosure to prevent conflicts of interest within the county.

“I’ve been proud to play a role in writing Macomb County’s first ethics ordinance,” Miller said. “I believe it will help establish a culture of accountability and transparency that the people of Macomb County deserve.

Commissioners Ray Gralewski, Kathy Tocco, Toni Moceri, Bob Smith and Board Chair Kathy D. Vosburg also served on the committee, which met over several months to refine the document and consider similar ordinances and models from the State Attorney General’s office, the Michigan Municipal League and guidelines set in the Macomb County charter.

Board Chair Kathy Vosburg said the ordinance “reflects the integrity and code of conduct which the public expects from its officials.”