Rep. Kevin Mahan (R-Hartford City) joined Gov. Mitch Daniels today as he signed legislation aimed at reducing nepotism and conflict of interest at the local government level.
Relating to nepotism, House Enrolled Act (HEA) 1005 stipulates a local government official may not be in direct supervision of a relative within a local government office. While nepotism statutes exist at the state level, HEA 1005 is the first to address nepotism among local government employees.
“We have had nepotism laws for state employees for some time now,” said Rep. Mahan. “There is no reason local government shouldn’t be held to the same standard as state government. I am proud of this legislation because it puts all levels of government throughout the state on the same page regarding the hiring of relatives into public agencies.”
Additionally, HEA 1005 prohibits local government employees from holding elected positions in a fiscal or governing body overseeing their local unit of town, city, county or township government. In the past, because these public bodies approve the local budget, some government employees were voting to give themselves a raise or were increasing their department’s budget.
“Both the nepotism and conflict of interest provisions are all measures to promote transparency and ethical leadership in local governing units throughout the state.”
HEA 1005 will fully go into effect on January 1, 2013.