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Commission panel wants ADEM staff to get ethics training

MONTGOMERY (AP) — All employees at the Alabama Department of Environmental Management, particularly at top levels, should have annual mandatory ethics training, a committee of the Environmental Management Commission recommended.

The recommendation Friday came two months after ADEM Director Trey Glenn accepted gifts from a regulated company. The full Environmental Management Commission will consider the ethics training recommendations Oct. 19.

“Everyone here, especially senior-level staff, should go through ethics training every year,” said committee chairwoman Anita Archie.

Besides ethics training, Archie also recommended appointing an ethics officer, so that employees could take questions to one person confidentially.

Glenn took his family of five to watch a July baseball game from Alabama Power Co.’s box. Alabama Power, one of the state’s largest ADEM permit holders, later reported to the state Ethics Commission that it spent about $310 for the Glenn family to attend the Montgomery Biscuits game and eat and drink while there.

Glenn is under investigation by the Montgomery County district attorney’s office for what the Ethics Commission called probable violations of the state ethics law and for other incidents that occurred before he got his job at ADEM.

Establishing policy

Last month, Adam Snyder, executive director of the nonprofit Conservation Alabama, represented several environmental groups in asking the Environmental Management Commission to establish an ethics policy.

The state ethics law applies to all state agencies. It requires that gifts of greater than $250 be reported to the Ethics Commission, but it does allow for those gifts, which officials say is the loosest such provision in the nation.

Snyder, who requested the ADEM policy, said the committee’s work was a step in the right direction. However, he said, it would train employees in a law he believes is too lax.

“We need stronger ethics standards and training in it,” he said.

Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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