14 Sep 2014
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Stokes Wants Ethics Reports Posted Online

Councilman Carl Stokes called the legislation a "good government bill."

Stokes Wants Ethics Reports Posted Online

Baltimore City  Councilman Carl Stokes introduced a bill on Thursday that would make accessing ethics reports filed by elected officials and some staff members more accessible to the public.

Stokes wants the reports, which the public can currently review at City Hall, posted on the Internet.

“I think it’s a good government bill,” Stokes said. “I think in the effort to be as transparent as possible I feel elected officials should make it as easy as possible for people to look at their public disclosure forms, campaign finances, etc.”

According to  Baltimore City codes, all elected officials and staff, agency officials and staff, and procurement, legislative liaison and enforcement personnel are required to file reports with the Ethics Board.

Stokes, who represents parts of Charles Village and Remington, said the records he wants to post online are already available to the public and that they city should take advantage of technology to make the reports more accessible.

“Right now you’ve got to make a trip down to City Hall, you’ve got to go upstairs … basically they put you in a room, you look at it, they take it back from you and you’ve got to remember what you read,” Stokes said.  

The bill was assigned to the Judiciary and Legislative Investigations Committee chaired by Councilman James Kraft. The bill must receive a hearing in committee and be voted out before being presented to the council as a whole.

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