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TOLEDO, OH (Toledo News Now) -
The Ohio Ethics Commission
led a seminar in Toledo Monday for elected officials and city employees.
The commission travels
around the state, giving about 200 speeches each year, to educate people on
state ethics laws.
Only eight people attended
the seminar led by Susan Willeke, education and communications manager for the
Ohio Ethics Commission.
City councilmen Tom
Waniewski and George Sarantou were the only council members present, along with
Clerk Gerry Dendinger and support staff.
"It's important for us to
keep the perspective that we are acting in the public's interest, not in our
own self-interest," Councilman Waniewski said.
He also said he was
disappointed in the attendance.
"You know, it's not an
indictment on anyone else," he said. "I don't know what their schedules were…[But]
by them not coming to something like this, if the excuse is, ‘Oh, I know everything,'
then it's the wrong reason not to come."
Willeke wondered if the
rainy weather played a role in the attendance, but said those absent missed a
chance to learn about potential conflicts of interest and nepotism.
"It's not mandated that
anyone attend, but we think the more information that's out there, the better
job we can do in guiding people," she said. "I think taxpayers have the right
to expect that government is operating without anyone's personal bias entering
into it, and I think education is part of that."