Metro Council passed the controversial Ethics Bill on second reading last night. The bill would extend state-mandated ethics requirements to all Metro employees. Recent attempts to amend the bill in order to slip patronizing free meals for Metro Council members back in seem to be dead.
District 30 Council Member Jim Hodge tried to amend the bill to allow free meals riding a comparison of meals between patrons with business before the council and council members with church fellowship suppers. He received support from our own member Ludye Wallace (no surprise there). The bill's prohibition of meals-for-deals is stricter than what the state requires, a point which seemed to be grounds used by Mr. Hodge and Mr. Wallace for allowing members their free meals. Their amendment was soundly defeated in a charge to table it led by Michael Craddock who self-identified as a fellowshipping Southern Baptist who likes to eat but who would refuse to allow anyone else to pay for his own meals.
The state has given municipalities until the end of June to pass ethics legislation. Metro Council is on track to do so.