Sen. Milton Potter, chairman of the Senate Committee on Ethical Conduct, claimed in a press release earlier this week that “Rules of the 34th Legislature” prohibit him and his colleagues from conducting a transparent investigation of Sen. Marvin Blyden’s admission that he violated a COVID-19 quarantine order. Potter failed to cite the specific rule or rules in question.
Potter has refused to disclose Blyden’s 20-page submission to the Committee presumably explaining his behavior. Potter has also held at least one secret hearing on the matter.
If the “Rules of the 34th Legislature” do in fact prohibit such transparency, the Legislature needs to immediately change its rules. An ethical investigation by the Legislature into the behavior of one of its own members cannot be ethical without transparency.
Public trust in the integrity of the Legislature itself is now as much at issue as Blyden’s conduct.