Lansing officials weigh legality of ballot initiative
ADDITION: BREAKING NEWS
At about 4:30 on Wednesday afternoon, Lansing City Clerk Chris Swope announced he was unable to accept the petitions for a controversial proposal to update the city's ethics ordinance.
“I applaud the goal of transparency in government,” said City Clerk Chris Swope. “However, the City Attorney Office’s review documented a multitude of conflicts with the Michigan Constitution, state law and the City Charter. Per the City Charter, I cannot accept these petitions as “proper.”
The measure is now dead, unless proponents sue the city to force it onto the ballot. Officials with Lansing Citizens for Ethics Reform have hinted that may be an option. In Tallahassee Florida a similar initiative was taken to court by city leaders in an attempt to prevent it from appearing on the ballot. The city lost that court challenge the measure was approved by 67 percent of voters in Nov 2014.
"We're very disappointed that the mayors first instinct was to oppose more transparency in city government," said Walt Sorg, leader of Lansing Citizens for Ethics Reform. He said they were reviewing the City Attorney opinion, and would determine there next steps from there.
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