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Fischer Wants Stricter Ethics Rules for Boards, Commissions Not Under City Control

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer is encouraging all local boards and commissions to adopt ethical guidelines that prohibit their members from doing business with the agency they serve.The announcement follows the resignation of Audwin Helton, chairman of the Metropolitan Sewer District board.“I am grateful to Audwin for his service to our community as chair of MSD,” says Fischer. “He felt that any question of a conflict on his behalf would be a distraction to the important work of MSD. Accordingly, he felt like it was best for him to offer his resignation.”Helton stepped down voluntarily a week after it was reported that his private company—Spatial Data Integrations Inc.—received almost $600,000 dollars in contracts from MSD that were not competitively bid. The mayor said Helton’s decision is consistent with what he will ask all boards and commissions to evaluate, but he cannot force those panels to adopt the city's ethics ordinance.MSD is associated with Metro Government, but it is not required to follow the city's ethics law even though the mayor appoints board members.A mayoral spokesperson, however, told WFPL News that Fischer spoke with MSD Executive Director Bud Schardein, and there was an agreement for tightened ethical rules. The matter will be discussed at the next board meeting, set for Monday, March 28.Fischer will send a letter to all leaders of the city’s boards and commissions not currently covered by the ethics ordinance to encourage them also to adopt its guidelines policies.