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August 2015 BEGA newsletter



Office of Government Ethics
Darrin P. Sobin, Director
Tonya O. Condell, Attorney

Volume 2 
Issue 6
August 2015

              Ethically Speaking       

                  The BEGA/OGE Newsletter            

Director’s Message – 

Not So Free Parking  –
Since BEGA’s inception, one of the more common ethics violations has been employees who use various methods to obtain free parking on District streets.  This has included the use of disability placards by employees who are not disabled.  Other attempts by employees to avoid parking citations include making it appear that they are engaged in official government business when they are not.  We have issued fines of several thousand dollars against these employees and more investigations, in conjunction with the Inspector General’s Office, are underway.
I realize that parking can be inconvenient and expensive in the District.  Personally, I would prefer to drive to work rather than getting on a packed Metro train car on a hot summer morning, especially when the Air Condition unit might not be working.  Nonetheless, our parking regulations exist for a reason.  How can we expect the general public to follow them if we, as government employees, will not?  Remember the first rule of ethics is that Public Office is a Public Trust.  Whether you believe that or not, free parking is not free when you end up receiving a BEGA fine and a record of ethical misconduct.
                                                      -    Darrin P. Sobin

Enforcement Matters:

A former elected at-large District of Columbia Councilmember entered into a Negotiated Disposition, agreeing to pay a fine of $12,000; perform 200 hours of community service; and conduct 12 live, in-person presentations to District of Columbia government employees regarding the importance of ethics in government and the risks inherent in engaging in unethical conduct related to their government employment. View Details

Upcoming Events –

August 11, 2015 – Monthly Ethics Training -  441 4th St. NW, Suite 540 South  (Enroll Through PeopleSoft)

August 17, 2015 – BEGA Monthly Board Meeting - 441 4th St. NW, Suite 540 South

Ethics In the News – 

The D.C. Council’s Commendable Effort In Ethics [Read More]

Pennsylvania Representative Chaka Fattah Indicted On Corruption Charges [Read More]

Washington Metropolitan Transit Authority Contract Raises Ethical Questions [Read More]

Former D.C. Council Member to Conduct Presentations to D. C. Government Employees [Read More]

Good to Know –  Protect and Conserve
Per DPM § 1807.2-4: A District government employee may receive compensation for engaging in teaching activities, writing for publication, consultative activities, and speaking engagements that are not prohibited by law, regulation, or agency standards, only if such activities are conducted outside of regular working hours, or while the employee is on annual leave, compensatory leave, exempt time off, or leave without pay.
Caveat: A District government employee may receive compensation provided that the activity is not devoted substantially to the responsibilities, programs or operations of his or her agency. When in doubt, contact BEGA.

BEGA Update – Financial Disclosure
The Public Financial Disclosure Statements filing deadline has passed. BEGA is currently mailing fine letters to non-filers.


If you have any questions, we can be reached at 202-481-3411, or through our website at