Indiana’s top ethics official says Gov. Mitch Daniels will be able to lobby for Purdue University, writes Eric Weddle for the Lafayette Journal and Courier:
Since being elected Purdue’s 12th president in June, some have questioned whether a one-year “cooling off period” required by the State Ethics Code would apply to Daniels in 2013. The code is intended to keep former public employees from working as lobbyists for a year after leaving a state job.
Earlier this summer, Daniels even went as far as to say if the rule arguably applied to him, another Purdue official would lobby in his place. Now, two informal advisory opinions say he can do it himself.
The opinions come from David Thomas, inspector general, and Tim Grogg, the director of executive branch lobbying.Earlier this summer, we asked if ethics rules the governor helped pen would prevent him from lobbying for Purdue.
Daniels is still seeking clarification from the full ethics commission, but it looks like the next Purdue president is in the clear.
In his letter to Daniels published by the Journal and Courier, Thomas wrote:
Only the Commission may issue an official advisory opinion. This informal advisory opinion allows us to give you quick, written advice. The Commission will consider than an employee acted in good faith if it is determined that the individual committed a violation after receiving an informal advisory opinion, and the alleged violation was directly related to the advice rendered.
In his opinion, Grogg told Daniels that state code does not treat university employees as executive branch lobbyists.