Detroit City Council wants to ease stiff ethical standards designed to crackdown on corruption, even as disgraced former Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick’s corruption trial is about to begin.
Council members want to end a ban on council members receiving gifts.
The council also wants to end a ban on elected officials taking lobbying jobs within the first year of their employment ending.
The efforts caught sharp criticism from Detroiters and Gov. Rick Snyder, who is refusing to place the charter changes on the ballot.
But council members are defiant and will try today to bypass Snyder’s decision with a supermajority vote, which requires approval from six of the nine council members.
The council’s timing is odd. The corruption trial for Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick is about the begin in a case that involves excessive gifts.
Snyder slammed the council’s plans.
“I firmly believe that governments and public servants need more accountability, not less,” Snyder said. “As this proposed amendment creates less accountability, I must decline to approve it.”
Residents all sounded off.
“One thug and his gang about to go to (the) FED PEN,” reads a Facebook post written by Jerry Hunter, a Detroit EMS employee who took another 10% pay cut. “But these idiots continue on.”
Steve Neavling lives and works in Detroit as an investigative journalist. His stories have uncovered corruption, led to arrests and reforms and prompted FBI investigations.