HomeEssential Ethics / September 26, 2023

Essential Ethics

September 26, 2023

Latest Developments:

  • The U.S. Department of Justice announced that a former U.S. Ambassador was sentenced to 36 months’ probation and fined $93,350 for lobbying in violation of revolving door restrictions and failure to disclose gifts received while in office.
  • The New York Commission on Ethics and Lobbying held its first meeting following a court ruling in Cuomo v. NYS CELIG, which declared the entity is unconstitutional based on a separation of powers argumentSpectrum News 1 reported that lawmakers and other state officials will wait for review by a higher court before taking any action to address the issues raised by the court.
  • Washoe County, Nevada (Reno Area) adopts Lobbyist Ordinance: The Washoe County Board of Commissioners adopted a lobbyist ordinance that requires lobbyists to identify themselves when speaking before the board.


  • Retired Supreme Court Justices to Discuss Judicial Ethics: The Council on Governmental Ethics Laws (COGEL) announced that retired Canadian Supreme Court Justice Ian Binney and retired California Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye will discuss current issues in judicial ethics. The one-hour Zoom seminar will be on Thursday, October 5, 2023, at 3 PM Eastern/12 Noon Pacific. The seminar is free to all staff of member agencies and organizations. Members’ staff may sign up for the Judicial Ethics Zoom Event here; organizations interested in COGEL’s mission and activities may join COGEL here.

In Case You Missed It: 

  • California’s New Pay-to-Play Law PerplexesGWire.com describes issues that arose when two Fresno City Council Members accepted campaign contributions from a company and its owners who sought a city contract extension.
  • AI Deepfake Campaign Ads Cause AlarmBloomberg Law warns that the “new generation of attack ads” are doctored deepfake videos created with artificial intelligence that will affect the next election cycle and vex campaigns and their lawyers.
  • AI in LobbyingBloomberg Government describes how lobbyists are starting to use artificial intelligence.
  • Hawaii PAC Deception Amid Fires: The Honolulu Civil Beat reports that the super PAC that created the Maui Community Power Recovery Fund is “asking donors to ‘Support Maui Fires: Relief, Recovery and Rebuilding.’ Later on, the page notes that money will go to political organizing and campaign operations.”
  • Senator Indicted for Bribery: The Associated Press reports that Senator Bob Menendez and his wife were indicted on federal bribery charges that accuse the Senator of using his influence over foreign policy to secretly aid the Egyptian government for personal gain.