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      Copyright 2002 The San Diego Union-Tribune    
           
      July 25, 2002    
           
      Panel Proposes Training for New Ethics Ordinance    
      By Caitlin Rother
   
           
      SAN DIEGO - Nearly 1,000 municipal employees and volunteers would be required to attend training on how to comply with the city's new ethics ordinance and then be recertified every two years under a plan recommended yesterday by a San Diego City Council committee.

The training would be mandatory for all those required by law to file statements of economic interests, including about 400 members of city boards and commissions, 250 managers, 150 deputy city attorneys and 50 consultants. The nine City Council members and their staffs, about 120 people, also would be included.

On a 5-0 vote yesterday, the Rules, Finance and Intergovernmental Relations Committee recommended that the council adopt the plan. The council is scheduled to consider the matter Sept. 25.

The sessions, recommended by the Ethics Commission, would be two hours for council members and their staffs and for members of boards and commissions. Managerial employees and deputy city attorneys would be required to attend three-hour sessions.

The commission has agreed to pay Craig Dunn, an ethics professor at San Diego State University, $21,000 to design the training program and to conduct the initial sessions. Councilwoman Toni Atkins had proposed Dunn as a potential member of the commission, but he declined to serve.

While 600 people serve on the city's boards and commissions, the committee recommended that only the 400 or so who must file statements of economic interest be required to undergo the training.

Councilman Jim Madaffer suggested that those not required to file statements should attend sessions as well.

But Mayor Dick Murphy said he did not want to overwhelm the commission, which only recently got up and running.

Mid-and upper-level city employees have attended half-day general ethics sessions at a regional management training program Dunn has taught for the past two years.

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