Dallas Unveils Ethics Reform Proposal 


On Monday, Mayor Eric Johnson revealed a sweeping ethics reform proposal produced by a task force he created to fight ‘city corruption.’

Focusing on the task force’s recommendations, the goal is to strengthen the city’s ethics code and concentrate on increased and improved training for city officials.   

“I am grateful to the task force for its thorough, thoughtful, and substantive work on this proposal to restore trust in our government. Their recommendations are simultaneously bold and realistic,” said Mayor Eric Johnson. “This reform effort is of the utmost importance, and it must be a top priority of this city council. Ethical behavior is the foundation of everything we do here at City Hall.”  

The reform proposal follows a series of corruption cases that involved Dallas city officials.  

The report includes five specific areas for recommendations:   

  • Complaint handling, enforcement, and related processes  
  • Culture of excellence and compliance  
  • Conflicts of interest, gifts, lobbying, and reporting  
  • Campaign finance

The task force, chaired by Timothy E. Powers, Haynes & Boone, LLP, produced an 18-page report.   

Other task force members included Elizabeth B. Gibson, Toyota Motor North America, Inc; Daniel J. Micciche, Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld, LLP and Dallas ISD Board of Trustees; Professor Anna Offit, SMU Dedman School of Law; Professor Thomas P. Perkins, Jr., UNT Dallas College of Law; and Rabbi Debra J. Robbins, Temple Emanu-El.  

The report’s primary focus is the proposed creation of the Office of Inspector General, investigating potential ethics violations, proactively monitoring compliance, and serving as a resource for city employees and officials.   

Presently, Dallas does not have such a position and relies on the public to issue ethics violations and complaints.   

Commenting on working with the city council to enact the proposal, the mayor said, “Now is the time to act. Now is the time for us to lead on ethics reform. Now is the time to show the people of our city that their best interests are our only interest.”  

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