Corruption news for Wisconsin, from the Green Bay Gazette:
A legislative committee will take up a bill today that would roll back transparency for those contributing to political campaigns. The measure, sponsored by Sen. Glenn Grothman, R-West Bend, would do away with a provision in state election law that requires those who donate more than $100 during a calendar year to reveal their employer.
Mike McCabe, executive director of the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign, said Grothman's bill would be a big step back for the state. McCabe's organization tracks money in politics and uses the campaign reports to give a fuller view of the forces behind politicians.
Read the rest of the story at the Green Bay Gazette.
Corruption news for Kentucky, from the Lexington Herald-Leader:
State Agriculture Commissioner James Comer announced Wednesday morning that he had asked the state auditor to conduct a "sweeping review" of the agriculture department.During his first five days on the job, Comer said employees came forward with several potentially troubling allegations involving the administration of his predecessor, fellow Republican Richie Farmer, a former University of Kentucky basketball star.
Issues have been raised about "time sheets, travel vouchers and (state credit card) purchases," Comer said.
Read the rest of the story at the Lexington Herald-Leader.
Corruption news for California, from the Orange County Register:
In handing down the discipline for Superior Court Judge Richard W. Stanford Jr., the state's Commission on Judicial Performance said "this pattern of misconduct between 2005 and 2010 created both the appearance and reality of a two-track system of justice – one for his family and friends and another for all others."
"Removal is necessary to restore public confidence in the integrity and impartiality of the judiciary and honor the commission's mandate to ensure the evenhanded administration of justice," the commission wrote in its order.
Read the rest of the story at the Orange County Register.
Corruption news for Nevada, from the Las Vegas Sun:
The Nevada Policy Research Institute filed a brief Monday asking the court to deny state Sen. Mo Denis’ (pictured, right) motion to dismiss the case because he quit his job as computer technician at the Nevada Public Utilities Commission. NPRI argued that the court should still rule on the case because of its “widespread importance” and “substantial public interest.”
Conservatives have maintained that public employees serving in the Legislature presents an inherent conflict of interest; school teachers and local government employees would have an inherent bias on issues like taxes and union bargaining rules, because of their day jobs.
Read the rest of the story at the Las Vegas Sun.
Corruption news for Oklahoma, from the Oklahoman:
State Attorney General Scott Pruitt has written a letter to the Oklahoma Association of Chiefsof Police about complaints that police departments are violating the Open Records Act by withholding public information from initial incident reports.
“The state Legislature has made it clear in this regard that a police department's initial offense report or cover sheet should be open for public inspection, regardless of its inclusion in an investigation file,” Pruitt (pictured, right) wrote in his Jan. 4 letter.
Citizens and members of the media complained about police withholding information this fall when attorney general officials toured the state holding Open Meeting and Open Records acts seminars, Pruitt said in the letter.
Read the rest of the story at the Oklahoman.
Corruption news for Indiana, from the Indianapolis Star:
A decision to close a state meeting today on improving safety at convenience stores has drawn criticism from a state legislator and the family of a clerk who was shot during a robbery in October. Rep. Ed DeLaney (pictured, right) said the issue is an important one that affects employees and consumers and should be vetted through an open process.
"We need to have a public airing of this issue, which really is growing," said DeLaney, D-Indianapolis, who pushed for the meeting.
Read the rest of the story at the Indianapolis Star.
Corruption news for West Virginia, from the State Journal:
The West Virginia Legislative Auditor's office believes the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection is in desperate need of an internal auditor.
Legislative Auditor Aaron Allred said all his office can do is report its findings to the Legislature.
"Their database … is not sufficient," Allred said. "I think the state's been penny wise and pound foolish. I can't think of a business of this size that does not have an internal auditor to impose internal controls on the system."
Read the rest of the story at the State Journal.
Corruption news for New Mexico, from KRQE:
The New Mexico Higher Education Department is asking for more time to complete a 2010 audit report that's already more than a year late.The Albuquerque Journal reports that the agency's delay in completing its report into how it managed about $100 million in public money in 2010 has caused the department to miss a deadline for its 2011 report.
Because of the long delay, the state auditor's office has listed the agency as at risk for the possibility of fraud.
Read the rest of the story at KRQE.
Corruption news for Alaska, from the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner:
Sens. Joe Paskvan and Joe Thomas told a judge they believe the state’s redistricting plan to pair the two Democratic lawmakers into the same Senate district was political gerrymandering intended to eliminate one of them, making room for a Republican. The two Fairbanks Democrats testified in court Monday during the first day of an expected two-week trial of the state’s redrawn election district lines.
The redistricting board has maintained the federal Voting Rights Act required them to violate the Alaska Constitution’s requirements for compactness and socio-economic contiguity in districts to protect Alaska Native voting power.
Read the rest of the story at the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner.
Corruption news for Pennsylvania, from the Pittsburg Tribune-Review:
Pennsylvania Supreme Court Justice Joan Orie Melvin received formal notification that she is a target of an Allegheny County grand jury that recommended prosecution of her two sisters for using state employees for political work, the Tribune-Review has learned.
Melvin, 55, of Marshall received a subpoena to testify before the grand jury in mid-December, typically the final step before a grand jury recommends charges. It's unclear whether Melvin (pictured, right), a Republican elected to the high court in 2009, appeared before the grand jury.
Read the rest of the story at the Pittsburg Tribune-Review.