Corruption news for Massachusetts, from WBUR:
Massachusetts residents who want to find out where their tax dollars go will now have an easier time rummaging through the state’s checkbook.Top officials unveiled a new website Monday to help the public track state spending.
The “Open Checkbook” website lets the public look up salaries of state workers, see how much the state is spending on individual contracts with private vendors, and compare budgets of different state agencies.
Read the rest of the story at WBUR.
Corruption news for Washington, from Auburn KOMO:
State Senator Pam Roach, of Auburn, is being honored for her efforts to make government more transparent.
Roach, who has worked to push several laws to increase access to public records, was honored by the Washington Coalition for Open Government yesterday with a Key Award.
"Senator Roach has been a consistent strong defender of open government and the public's right to know what their government is doing," says Toby Nixon, president of WCOG. "She introduced bills every legislative session to expand access to public records and meetings.
Read the rest of the story at Auburn KOMO.
Corruption news for Iowa, from Radio Iowa:
The state auditor is recommending a series of changes in the way state officials strike deals to buy everything from computers to paper clips.
The Iowa Department of Administrative services oversees 530 “master agreements” for the purchase of goods and services for 41 different state agencies. The audit found staff in the Department of Administrative Services did not “adequately monitor” those agreements. The result? A competitive bidding process was not used for many of the things state government bought from 2007 through 2010.
Read the rest of the story at Radio Iowa.
Corruption news for Connecticut, from the Stamford Advocate:
A second Connecticut agency is looking into allegations revealed by Gov. Dannel P. Malloy (pictured, right) that some state workers may have been among scores of state residents who received federal food aid after Tropical Storm Irene, even though they made too much money to qualify for the program.
Malloy first mentioned the allegations Sunday, but didn't provide specifics on how much aid may have gone to people who didn't qualify for the low-income aid program. He said none of the allegations has been confirmed, but early reviews found examples of state worker conduct that could, if substantiated, lead to firings and criminal prosecutions.
Corruption news for Massachusetts, from the Boston Globe:
A former state senator and city manager of Lowell was sentenced yesterday in federal court to four months of home confinement and two years of probation after pleading guilty to bilking a businessman out of $18,000.
“There should be some form of punishment for doing something that’s just so awful in a community that you love,’’ Judge Patti B. Saris (pictured, right) told defendant Bernard J. Tully yesterday in US District Court in Boston.
Tully, 85, had difficulty hearing Saris until the judge allowed him to move closer to the bench. He pleaded guilty in August to wire fraud, and authorities agreed not to seek incarceration.
Read the rest of the story at the Boston Globe.
Corruption news for Maryland, from the Washington Post:
A case alleging that the 2010 campaign manager for former Maryland Gov. Robert L. Ehrich Jr. (R) (pictured, right) sought to suppress the African-American vote in Maryland with tens of thousands of Election Night robocalls is expected to go to the jury on Monday.
Paul E. Schurick, a longtime Ehrlich aide, testified in his own defense Friday in Baltimore City Circuit Court that he approved a transcript of automated calls placed to about110,000 Democratic voters but that he had no intention of trying to suppress black turnout.
Read the rest of the story at the Washington Post.
Corruption news for New York, from the Times Union:
Under a not-so-well-known section of the New York Public Officers Law, state employees and elected officials whose criminal charges are dropped can get their legal fees reimbursed by taxpayers. Former Sen. Majority Leader Joseph L. Bruno will invoke that provision when he petitions Attorney General Eric Schneiderman in the near future for hundreds of thousands of dollars in recoveries.
Assemblyman William Boyland Jr., who was recently acquitted of corruption charges brought by the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, would be eligible to recoup any legal expenses paid for his defense in that matter, even though he was represented by court-appointed attorneys at taxpayer expense, and despite the fact that the Eastern District's prosecutors have just leveled a new set of charges of abuse of office against him.
Corruption news for West Virginia, from the Charleston Daily Mail:
Legislative auditors are looking at contracts the Manchin and Tomblin administrations had with a former state official who advised them on personnel laws. The consultant, Joe Smith, is the former acting personnel director for several governors.
Smith retired from state government in 2001, but in 2005 Gov. Joe Manchin's (pictured, right) administration asked for his help. The administration used a no-bid contract to hire Smith to consult on personnel issues. Smith received at least $66,000 a year from the deal.
Read the rest of the story at the Charleston Daily Mail.
Corruption news for Texas, from the El Paso Times:
Texas Gov. Rick Perry, a Republican presidential candidate, is weighing whether he should return at least $80,000 in past campaign contributions for his state races from an El Paso businessman convicted of public corruption charges.
Two other top Texas lawmakers - Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst and U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, both Republicans - vowed to donate contributions from Robert "Bob" Jones to charity after being contacted by the El Paso Times. Another major recipient, U.S. Rep. Silvestre Reyes, D-Texas, said he will move toward ridding his campaign account of funds "even remotely connected to Mr. Jones."
Read the rest of the story at the El Paso Times.
Corruption news for Illinois, from WBEZ:
The U.S. House ethics committee announced on Friday that it will continue its investigation of Congressman Jesse Jackson, Jr. The panel also released hundreds of pages of documents from the inquiry. The ethics committee stressed in a statement that just because it's keeping the investigation open "does not itself indicate that any violation has occurred."
The inquiry centers on whether Jackson (pictured, right) was involved in pay-to-play offers, or used taxpayer resources, when the Chicago Democrat tried to win a U.S. Senate appointment from then-Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich.According to testimony at Blagojevich's two corruption trials, supporters of Jackson offered the governor millions in campaign contributions if he appointed Jackson to the Senate.
Read the rest of the story at WBEZ.