April 2017 BEGA newsletter

GOVERNMENT OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA

BOARD OF ETHICS AND GOVERNMENT ACCOUNTABILITY

Office of Government Ethics

Darrin P. Sobin, Director

Asia Stewart-MitchellAttorney Advisor

Volume 4 

Issue 4

April 2017

              Ethically Speaking       

                  The BEGA/OGE Newsletter            

BEGA Happenings ―

BEGA says farewll to its Chairman, Robert "Bob" Spagnoletti.  Bob has served as chairman of the board since 2012, making him a founding member of BEGA. Bob will be greatly missed.

Message from the Director ― 

The above reference to the departure of Board Chairman Bob Spagnoletti does not adequately capture the significance or importance of his service to the District – government employees and citizens alike.  When Bob was initially tapped to be BEGA’s first chairman, it was in the wake of multiple high profile scandals and investigations into public corruption that had necessitated BEGA’s creation in the first place.  Bob, the District’s former Attorney General (the first under that title) and former President of the D.C. Bar, had a thriving practice at a small but well-respected litigation firm.  Newly married and raising a young son, his time was at a premium.  Moreover, he had not a lot to gain from agreeing to serve and quite a bit to lose, at least reputation and time wise.  It was still not known whether the new Ethics Board would have any success given the whirling political influences in the city and an untested mission goal for the fledgling agency.  Yet, like most true public servants, Bob answered the call of his city.  Four and a half years later, he leaves behind an agency with 15 employees, two offices, dozens of binding advisory opinions, an on-line e-filing and payment system for Financial Disclosure Filers and Lobbyists, and, most importantly, through multiple enforcement actions, notice to all would be wrong doers that public corruption will not be tolerated in this city.  We all owe Bob a great debt of gratitude.       

       Regards,

       - Darrin P. Sobin, Director of Government Ethics

       BEGA Happenings ―

  • Follow us on Twitter @dcbega

Ethics In the News 

  • Federal Ethics Chief Took on the President Read more
  • Ethics Panel Questions Job for UConn Football Coach’s Son Read more
  • Governor Uses Public Office for Private Gain Read more
  • Judge Imposes Seven Year Sentence in Chicago School Bribery Case Read more
  • 1 in 3 Marylanders say Corruption is a Big Problem in State Government Read more

Advisory Opinions

  • BEGA releases Advisory Opinion – 1602-001– Post-Employment “Determination of former agency for purposes of DPM §§ 1811.10 and 1811.12” Read the Opinion

Good to Know

The filing of financial disclosure statements is mandated in the “Ethics Act”. The Director of BEGA has the discretion to bring an enforcement action against any non-compliant designated filers. A D.C. government employee who has been designated by his/her agency as either a public financial disclosure statement filer or a confidential financial disclosure statement filer can be fined up to $5,000 (among other penalties) as a result of a finding that he/she failed to file a financial disclosure statement or filed a false and/or incomplete financial disclosure statement, pursuant to sections 221(a)(1)-(2) of the “Ethics Act”. In addition to penalties resulting from an enforcement action the Director is authorized to assess ministerial fines for non-compliance without bringing an enforcement action, pursuant to section 221(a)(3) of the “Ethics Act”.  

If you have any questions, we can be reached at 202-481-3411, or through our website at www.bega-dc.gov