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Thread: Ethics question

  1. #1
    Cyburbian donk's avatar
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    Ethics question

    Here is one that just happened to me and wondering what you would do.

    A consultant, who used to be employed by the City, is now representing a land owner on a file that the consultant, as a city employee, had worked on and may have impacted the City's decisions on what to do with this property. The time frame for all of this is less than a year.

    I feel I should make a call to the ethics committee to discuss with them and report the person for breach of trust and other ethcial issues.

    What would you do?

    For those of you that have made teh jump from pubilc to private or private to publci sector, how have you delt with files you worked on when on the other side of the fence?
    Too lazy to beat myself up for being to lazy to beat myself up for being too lazy to... well you get the point....

  2. #2
    Cyburbian PlannerByDay's avatar
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    Is the Consultant AICP?

    My guess he is not or else he would definately know this would be a violation of the code of ethics.

    Might need a little more info about the role the consultant when he was employed with the City? Also in what capacity is he advising the developer on the project?

    In short I believe there is a violation there however a little more info might help.

  3. #3
    moderator in moderation Suburb Repairman's avatar
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    Without additional details, it's hard to say. From the way it sounds initially, it's probably an ethics violation. Representing yourself in private interest to a City following employment is one of the better-known no-nos, so I doubt the planner is AICP. I think the general rule is to wait two years. Even then, if the planner played a major role in writing the standards it is probably not a good idea to represent yourself to that City for a much longer period.

    "Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country."

    - Herman Göring at the Nuremburg trials (thoughts on democracy)

  4. #4
    Cyburbian donk's avatar
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    First thing I did was check his membership status, he is a provisional member. A call is going in today to discuss with the ethics people.

    With respect to his role on the project, his name is in the file as a planner of record on the file.

    Now he is working for a consultant doing work on the property. The file is a bit of a mess on many different levels, and this just adds to it.
    Too lazy to beat myself up for being to lazy to beat myself up for being too lazy to... well you get the point....

  5. #5
    Cyburbian PlannerByDay's avatar
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    Good Luck DONK and keep us posted. I've never know of anyone who had been confronted with such a situation and I'm interested in how the process pans out.

  6. #6
    Cyburbian Plus
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    The Section in Question from the AICP Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct -

    B: Our Rules of Conduct

    "3. We shall not accept an assignment from a client or employer to publicly advocate a position on a planning issue that is indistinguishably adverse to a position we publicly advocated for a previous client or employer within the past three years unless (1) we determine in good faith after consultation with other qualified professionals that our change of position will not cause present detriment to our previous client or employer, and (2) we make full written disclosure of the conflict to our current client or employer and receive written permission to proceed with the assignment."

    http://www.planning.org/ethics/conduct.html
    Oddball
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    Why don't you dig how beautiful it is out here?
    Why don't you say something righteous and hopeful for a change?
    From Kelly's Heroes (1970)


    Are you sure you're not hurt ?
    No. Just some parts wake up faster than others.
    Broke parts take a little longer, though.
    From Electric Horseman (1979)

  7. #7
    Cyburbian donk's avatar
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    I am looking at the CIP /OPPI ethics stuff for a similar passage. Ours does not appear to be as clear cut, and relies on the premise that planers work for the public interest.
    Too lazy to beat myself up for being to lazy to beat myself up for being too lazy to... well you get the point....

  8. #8
    maudit anglais
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    My first reaction is that it is a definite conflict of interest.

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