Rebuilding Place in the Urban Space

"A community’s physical form, rather than its land uses, is its most intrinsic and enduring characteristic." [Katz, EPA] This blog focuses on place and placemaking and all that makes it work--historic preservation, urban design, transportation, asset-based community development, arts & cultural development, commercial district revitalization, tourism & destination development, and quality of life advocacy--along with doses of civic engagement and good governance watchdogging.

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Probably the DC Government Inspector General position should be popularly elected as well

In the most recent election, there was a ballot referendum calling for making the DC Attorney General position popularly elected. I supported this referendum, although I had suggested having the position come up for election in the so called "off cycle" when the ballot doesn't have the Mayor on the ballot, and that's not how the referendum was worded.

The referendum passed, and therefore effective with the 2014 election, the Attorney General will be popularly elected.

(FWIW, I believe that the Attorney General of the United States should also be popularly elected. One wrinkle in DC is that the federal government still controls the prosecution of adult crimes, so that here, the DC Attorney General focuses on a variety of public protection issues, and the prosecution of juvenile crime. Delegate Norton is advocating that the federal government yield to DC the authority to prosecute adult crimes. However, I feel that can come as a hopefully successful track record is developed for the locally elected AG.)

Given the problems of independence that an Inspector General seems to have in DC (see "DC inspector general plays lap dog to corrupt pols") from the Examiner) with regard to local government, maybe this position should be popularly elected as well.

From the article:

The IG's ineffectiveness here begs a more serious question: Even if Willoughby had been able to investigate the Sulaimon Brown case, would anything have happened? The answer, from many law enforcement officials, past and present, is in doubt.

"If you want to bury something," one former District legal official told me, "send it over there. Willoughby is not a prosecutorial type, not an investigator. When he gets in a political thicket, he's not willing to stick his neck out."

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