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Is soliciting county vendors for donations ethical?

It seems that our Human Resource Officer has been busy asking for donations for the County Employee Christmas Party.  Sources tell us that not only were the County Commissioners asked to donate, but also some of the county vendors and even the local banks.  Is this ethical?

 

We refer to a recent article in the AJC—

“Prisons Chief Scolded over Fund-raising”, November 30, 2005, Page B4

Georgia Attorney General Thurbert Baker has advised the state’s prisons chief to avoid the type

of fund-raising that let to a GBI investigation earlier this year.  Department of Corrections employees raised more than $100,000 for an Excellence in Corrections conference staged by Commissioner James Donald in 2004.  Most of the money came from vending companies that hold multi-million dollar contracts to provide snack foods to the state’s prisons. One of the vendors complained to Gov. Sonny Perdue’s office that he felt obligated to donate…..

 

In Jasper County’s case, did the vendors donate because they felt they had to to keep getting business from the County?  Why were they asked?  Who authorized this solicitation?

Is this ethical?  The BOC and/or the County Manager need to have more oversight into what is really going on in the County offices.
 

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