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Apr 4, 2012 9:45 AM by AP

Ethics board could gain appeal power

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - The state Board of Ethics lost its power to enforce various ethics laws four years ago. Now, the board only investigates ethics complaints. If it decides a violation has occurred, it makes its case to a panel of administrative law judges.

The board cannot appeal decisions of the administrative judges. But that may change. A House committee on Wednesday was to debate a measure backed by Gov. Bobby Jindal that would give the board limited appeal power. Related measures before the panel would make further adjustments to the ethics overhaul Jindal pushed through the Legislature four years ago.

A government watchdog group, the Public Affairs Research Council, is among those saying changes are needed to clarify the role of the ethics board and the administrative law panels.

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