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Ethical Issues in the Management of City of West Chiefland

For the city manager to pursue with the accusations regarding the commissioners, he would have to use the following tools: role diagnosis, rank responsibilities, threshold test, go/no go model, examine the decision-making checklist, whistleblower, stakeholder analysis, pursuing the public interest which revolve around democracy, mutuality, sustainability, and legacy, compliance and integrity, avoid doing harm, and accountability. Response to the actions of commissioners will entail plan A and B. Plan A will consist of all the steps and tools taken before the city manager decides to go public by whistle blowing. Plan B will list the city managers obligations and financial reviews leading to a full investigation if he decides not to go public.

Plan A

Plan A will consist of all the steps and tools taken before going public by whistle blowing. There are important considerations, which should be made concerning the change of heart of the two commissioners. It is, however, important to note that common sense component is important because in most decisions it is necessary to rely on yourself and your own "integrity". This was city capital project so the commissioners were at a high risk of temptation and pressures. For the commissioners who we could never consider acting improperly when dealing with capital projects, it is possible that a change of heart is probable when conflicts of interest arise and large amounts of money are involved.


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Role Diagnosis

Role diagnosis prevents conflict of interest. However, in this context it is too crude to be used alone. One role may not automatically and thoughtlessly cancel all others without seriously damaging the commissioner (Lewis & Gilman, 2012). The responsibility they took was self-imposed. The city manager should begin by assessing the roles they play and the seriousness of competing ethical claims. 

Commissioner Monie and Gator had conflict of interest in two projects and, therefore, voted for the expansion the concert hall and improving public transportation. The failure to declare and manage conflicts of interest at the City of West Chiefland undermined the implementation of city’s intention to expand its tourist and tax base. This case reminds the City of West Chiefland manager that conflicts of interest are endemic to public and professional life. The conflict of interest in this case extended to the temptation to give favored treatment to expanding the concert hall and improving public transportation.

When dealing with the conflict of interest arising from tourist and tax increase measures, the City manager should recognize and investigate corruption allegations. In this case it is wise for the two commissioners Monie and Gator to step aside from all decision making associated with the running of the two projects. The worry with the conflict of interest in the case of the City of West Chiefland is to maintain impartiality and at the same time to encourage public support for decisions that are made.  

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Because of the suspected corruption allegation and conflict of interest, the city manager should consider the duties and responsibilities of the two public officials and allow for disciplinary action to be taken against them. The idea here is that there are certain rules and obligations that attach to county commissioners and corrupt acts are those by which the official violates the obligations attached to their roles.

Rank Responsibilities

Failure to consider responsibilities and obligations to prevent conflict of interest derailed the selection of the best way to expand city’s tourist and tax base. The city manager has a legal obligation to report them for acting corruptly for acts against their formal responsibilities. They, however, did so in a way which can be regarded as being of broader public benefit. Here we can say that Monie and Gator acted corruptly, but it can be noted that public interests were served.

Another appropriate action against the corruption allegation is raising the awareness of all staff in the City of West Chiefland. Since he witnessed the two commissioners huddled in Brown’s office, the city manager should raise the alarm to all departments and enlist responsibilities of the two commissioners because it was a breach of official duty that can be sanctioned by disciplinary action.

Threshold Test

The city managerwill carry out threshold test as to when public interest immunity will be asserted. In case of voting, there was a tightening of circumstances in which public interest immunity may be asserted. Management of the City of West Chiefland, Florida adopted the test that the disclosure will not cause substantial harm to public interest. There is public interest that substantial harm or real damage should not be done to the city by the disclosure of certain information, and there is the public interest that the administration of justice should not be frustrated by withholding of corruption charges necessary for the fair determination. The threshold test, therefore, affirms that public interest comes first, hence the City manager should pursue corruption allegations.

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Go/No Go Model

The city manager will ask for specific information regarding the corruption allegations of the two commissioners’ in order to demonstrate the role and responsibility that resulted in selection of the options voted. An important aspect in those trends must be established to indicate their future financial gain. This criterion is a go/no go decision and, therefore, their responsibility will either pass or fail. It their role and responsibility passes, the city manager will disqualify the two tax options and further inspect the allegations.

The judgment will call for immediate action based on whether the allegations against the commissioners are legal, ethical, and effective. The allegations against Gator and Monie are illegal and unethical and, therefore, based on the go/no go model action should be taken against them.

Decision-Making Checklist

Examining the decision making checklist will enable the city manager to respond appropriately to corruption case against commissioner Monie and Gator. The decision making check-list was not flawed. The decision making process was in line with city’s regulations. The checklist will not enable him to obtain as much background information as possible regarding the two commissioners. While conducting background research, the City Manager should strive to maintain impartiality and avoid appearance of impropriety.

Stakeholder Analysis

Through stakeholder analysis the city manager will determine which option was viable and appropriate for city. The first step is to score each option. A high score means that the decision less acceptable for that commissioner. Factors to be considered by the city manager include dependency on the city, vulnerability to decision, scope, and risk to fundamental ethical value, duty, or principle. The city manager should further obtain the score of options provided by the commissioner's initially.

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The second step is to repeat the scoring for each of options given by the commissioner to allow comparisons among them. Afterwards he should add all the scores together to measure the overall potential. A decision that causes a severe permanent harm or injury receives a high score.

The third step involves taking appropriate action. A high score across the board should prompt the city manager to reject the proposal outright. A high score for some options combined with a low score for other options may prompt managers to recommend alternatives or targeted relief. It is important during this step for the city manager to recommend obligatory action or relief.

Pursuing the Public Interest

Not all disputed claims are necessarily acceptable. This implies that the city manager should prove that commissioner Monie and Gator did not serve public interest rather their own. He should further prove that through the expansion of the concert hall and improving public transportation they sought illicit private gain from the exercise of their office trumps facts of the matter about who else benefited.

Commissioners Gator's and Monie's conduct fell within the application of the appropriate standards for political corruption. This is because Hogg provided cash incentives to Gator and Monie to vote for the expansion of the concert hall and improving public transportation options. It is important to realize that what remains central to the City of West Chiefland is the implied selection of options, which identifies the character, extent, responsibilities associated with, and the relationships between Hogg, Gator, and Monie. Lewis & Gilman (2012) say that manager’s grounds for identifying the conduct of the commissioners as illicit are that it violates the rules, norms, or public expectations of the office they occupy.

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The city manager should note that the path of integrity is raw. He should not rely on moral character because this route heads towards moral judgment. It counts on the city manager to reflect, decide, and act. Integrity is a basic ethical value, not limited to public service by any means. By neglecting the decision making environment and choosing voting, it is important to focus exclusively on autonomous moral individuals. The integrity approach, therefore, sweeps aside organizational and other influences that affect behavior (Lewis & Gilman, 2012).

Plan B

Since the corruption and bribery charges have been "identified on its face as a qui tam action and shall be filed in the circuit court of the Second Judicial Circuit in Florida. Immediately upon the filing of the complaint, a copy of the complaint and written disclosure of substantially all material evidence and information the person possesses shall be served on the Attorney General, as head of the department, and on the Chief Financial Officer, as head of the Department of Financial Services, by registered mail, return receipt requested. The department, or the Department of Financial Services under the circumstances specified in subsection (4), may elect to intervene and proceed with the action, on behalf of the state, within 60 days after it receives both the complaint and the material evidence and information".

"If a person brings an action under Florida law Section 838.015(2), it should be based upon the facts underlying a pending investigation by the Department of Financial Services, the Department of Financial Services, instead of the department, may take over the action on behalf of the state. In order to take over the action, the Department of Financial Services must give the department written notification within 20 days after the action is filed that the Department of Financial Services is conducting an investigation of the facts of the action and that the Department of Financial Services, instead of the department, will take over the action filed under subsection (2). If the Department of Financial Services takes over the action under this subsection, the word “department” as used in this act means the Department of Financial Services, and that department, for purposes of that action, shall have all rights and standing granted the department under this act."

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Press Response

Following the voting of the two tax expansion measures chosen by commissioners, all elected members, management, and commissioners in the city are coming under increasing pressure from public to respond to allegations of corruption and mismanagement. The management of the city intends to respond through a newspaper release about the voting process and corruption allegations. No clear conclusions have been reached after the voting, but it is important to note that three commissioners had significant impact on the selection of two tax expansion measures. The media and the public will gain a full picture of allegations through newspaper press release in two-day time.

Question 2

Charge I and 2

In Florida state, nepotism is routinely regulated by state ethics and conflict of interest laws. According to Florida states statues 112.3135Ed Monie is prohibited from hiring, appointing, and voting for the appointment or confirmation of appointment of someone who is a relative by blood or marriage. Ed Monie, therefore, violates the restriction that "a public official shall not advocate one of his relatives fro appointment, employment, promotion or advancement to a position in his agency over which he exercises jurisdiction or control. In the same statute the city mayor should not appoint, employ, promote or advance to a position in his agency over which he exercises jurisdiction or control the relative of a public official of his agency or of a public official who exercises jurisdiction or control over his agency, if the public official has advocated the appointment, employment or advancement of that relative."

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An individual may not be appointed to a position within the Florida County by the City Mayor Edi Monie who is related to another individual by definition of Florida State Statute 112.3135. In the first and second charge Monie improperly appointed his nephew as Chief of the volunteer Fire Department. According to the Florida State Statute 112.3135 "a public official may not appoint, employ, promote, advance or advocate in or to a position in the agency in which he is serving or over which he exercises jurisdiction or control any individual who is a relative of the public official." Within the provisions of this statute Edi Monie has violated the state law. The city mayor should realize that city and county governments in Florida are covered by state law.


After the implementation of anti-nepotism provision, the City of West Chiefland Sheriff’s office issued the following policy: an individual may not be appointed to a position within City of West Chiefland’s office that is related to another individual by definition of Florida State Statute 112.3135. This policy is typical of many administrative regulations in that it interprets a rather broad statutory definition of nepotism and applies it to special circumstances of the city. The city mayor should note that “administrative rules enacted pursuant to a legislative delegation are presumed to be valid and should be upheld on judicial review when they are reasonably consistent with the statute being implemented”.

Charge 3

In charge three, where Monie improperly accepted a video gaming system from his best friend who is a partner in the law firm of a lobbyist who lobbies the Council for time to time, he violated the state statute regarding bribery and corruption. Florida law makes corruption through bribery a felony. According to Florida law Section 838.015(2) "bribery means corruptly give, offer or promise to any public servant or if a public servant, corruptly to request, solicit, accept or agree to accept for himself or herself or another any pecuniary or other benefit with an intent or purpose to influence the performance of any act or omission which the person believes to be or the public servant represents as being, within the official discretion of a public servant, in violation of a public duty, or in performance of public duty." A person sought to be bribed needs not to have authority to accomplish the act sought or represented.


Charge three brings "an action under Florida law Section 838.015(2). The bribery charges are based upon the facts underlying a pending investigation by the city management committee on corruption in association with the department of financial services. The department of financial services may take over the action on behalf of the state. In order to take over the action, the department of financial services must give the department written notification within 20 days after the action is filed that the department of financial services is conducting an investigation of the facts of the action and that the department of financial services, instead of the department, will take over the action filed under section 838.015(2). If the department of financial services takes over the action under this section, the word “department” as used in this act means the department of financial services, and that department, for purposes of that action, shall have all rights and standing granted the department under this act."

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Question 3

Stakeholder Diagnostic Model

The city should be organized in the new public administration stakeholder diagnostic model. The underlying factor of choosing the new public administration stakeholder diagnostic model is on the basis that it uses six equally weighted factors in which the decision maker can adapt it to different ethical concerns by varying the weight of different factors or adding new ones (Lewis & Gilman, 2012). For example, if the weight assigned to the last factor, risk to fundamental ethical value, duty or principle, and then it can be deleted and substituted with another factor chosen on ethical grounds.

During the first step, the manager selects factors and assigns the values. For instance, a high score on policy impact labeled as the scope factor suggests injury for trivial results and explicitly factors in utility gauged by aggregated effects. Although duty oriented pursuits may drop it from the calculation, it is critical to consider tolerating any harm for only material nontrivial reasons (Lewis & Gilman, 2012).

In the second step, scoring for each stakeholder is repeated so as to make comparisons between them. As the score approaches 18, the less acceptable the decision is for that stakeholder. Summing all scores together, furnishes an aggregate gauge of the overall potential harm. A decision that causes severe permanent harm to the dependent of city service recipients or the vulnerable and damages crucial values receives a high score. Lewis & Gilman (2012) stress that a high score across the board prompts managers to reject the proposal outright. The intention here is to provoke rethinking as well as reflecting on the meaning of public interest in the City of West Chiefland, Florida.

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A score of 18 for individual stakeholders in the diagnostic model should trigger thinking about redesign or building in some remedy or relief for problems that the manager causes. On the other hand, it should be noted that a high score for some stakeholder of the city combined with a low score for others should encourage managers to recommend alternative or targeted relief. By way of precedent, available tools in the workplace may include monetary compensation, job retraining, outplacement programs, workplace accommodation, affirmative action, and programs for reducing health and safety risk to employees.

New public administration stakeholder model is a powerful analytical tool. It promotes an inclusive participation, authentic empathy, replaces patronizing paternalism, and eliminates self interested projection and self affirmation from public service. New public administration stakeholder diagnostic model can be an effective counterbalance to elitist planning and arrogant policy making that imperiously assigns pros and cons and defines the public interest expertly but autonomously. 

Creating an Ethical Agency

City government decisions will be made in terms of their futurity, that is their capacity to meet expected changes in the environment. This implies that every action should be taken in light of anticipated conditions, merely putting the organization in the best position to take advantage of opportunities presented by future.

It is fundamental to clearly understand the capacities and limitations of the city. The new manager should articulate that programs and policies can only be implemented effectively if they are within the existing capacity of the city or provide sufficient opportunity for capacity building. Lewis & Gilman (2012) say that the manager should ensure that organizational elements, such as leadership, communication, motivation, and group dynamics, need constant attention because they are paramount to goal accomplishment.

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City of West Chiefland effort to improve quality and productivity in state government can produced impressive gains if ethics in public administration is taken into consideration. It is, however, important to note that where multiple goals exist, some are bound to conflict (Lewis & Gilman, 2012). Using stakeholder’s diagnostic model allows contending viewpoints and values and, therefore, manager’s gear up for fact finding, accommodating, and making selective trade-offs that lead to the informed and principled choices they must make. Individual responsibility is both a starting and an end point on the integrity route in public service.

While managing the City of West Chiefland, Florida, it is important as a manager to realize that "the concern with ethics and demands on managerial responsibility extends beyond academic halls to government corridors, public interest groups and professional associations. Public expectations and formal standards today demand that managers undertake sophisticated ethical reasoning and apply rigorous ethical standards to decisions and behavior" ( Lewis & Gilman, 2012).

The fundamental ethical prescription not to act wrongly is not enough in public service. Rather the public servant is directed to do the right thing in the right way. When this occurs, priorities and judgment kick in to move the decision maker (Lewis & Gilman, 2012).



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