July 10, 2008
Jefferson City, Mo. - More than 300 elected and appointed local government officials from around Missouri attended an all-day conference on ethical and legal issues sponsored by Attorney General Jay Nixon today in Jefferson City. It was the 11th ethics conference the Attorney General has held since taking office in 1993, with more than 2,100 local government officials receiving training in that time.
"One of the most important steps to ensure good government is to educate public officials on the laws defining ethics in government," Nixon said. "I commend all who attended today's conference and those who have attended in previous years. It is important for all public officials to know these laws, including those governing public access to information, nepotism, conflict of interest and misappropriation of public resources."
Sessions at the conference covered the Sunshine Law; conflicts and disclosure/elections/ethics; consumer protection services available from the Attorney General; the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA); the effect of the Hancock amendment on local government; employment issues; nepotism; environmental issues; sexual harassment; and sovereign immunity. Assistant attorneys general who specialize in these topics made presentations and were available to answer questions. A panel of experienced journalists provided their prospective on the Sunshine Law and also answered questions from conference participants.
"Local public officials in Missouri are faced with important ethical and legal questions every day, and we are confident that the training at our conference will go a long way toward preparing these folks to face those issues down the line," Nixon said.