We have an ethical crisis in Rhode Island. Each day we hear about corruption, cronyism and pay-to-play schemes that let insiders secure state business and provide no-bid jobs to friends and family. This is wrong and must stop. There is a direct connection between Rhode Island’s unacceptable economic condition and the disappointing reality that some of our public officials betray the public trust.
As your Governor, I will demand the highest standards for ethical behavior in my administration.
I will attack the ‘soft corruption’ that, over the long term, is as corrosive as illegal conduct. I will insist that every state employee ask themselves not only if a decision is legal, but if it is ethical, as well. I will tolerate nothing but the highest standard of behavior from every state employee.
During the transition period, I required every member of my staff to sign a “Transition Code of Ethics” to ensure that the formation of the new Governor’s office was guided solely by the best interest of the public. On January 4, 2011, my first day in office, I issued a strong executive order on ethics to send a clear message that on my watch corruption, cronyism, and unethical behavior will not be tolerated in state government.