Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Shawnee County to Establish Ethics Hotline

Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Shawnee County to Establish Ethics Hotline

Article excerpt

Shawnee County will establish an "ethics hotline" to enable people to anonymously report unethical activities involving the county.

Commissioners Kevin Cook, Shelly Buhler and Bob Archer voted 3-0 Monday to enter into a contract to pay Blue Bell, Pa.-based Lighthouse Services Inc. $1,085 to provide the ethics hotline for a one-year period beginning Oct. 1.

The hotline will enable anyone, including county employees, to report fraudulent or unethical activities by going online, sending a fax or email or calling a toll-free number, said county internal auditor Andrea Forbes. Callers may opt to give their names, or may provide information confidentially.

Archer said the establishment of the hotline is a good idea, and needs to be widely publicized.

Lighthouse Services will provide reports on the tips it receives to Forbes, who told commissioners she would review them and share information about them with whoever at the county needs to be involved.

The hotline will be separate from a "waste hotline" the county established in 2011, which arranges for the county counselor's office to take reports of wasteful expenditures of county money. That hotline can be reached at (785) 233-8200, extension 4306, or contacted by email at efficiency@snco.us.

Commissioners on Monday also:

- Heard a report from Betty Greiner, the county's administrative services director, who said the county saved taxpayers more than $1.76 million in 2014 and 2015 by refinancing bonds it previously issued to carry out projects.

Greiner said three refinancing arrangements completed this year cut county costs by $1,197,763.89 while one carried out last year saved $568,976.80, coming to a total of $1,766,740.69.

- Heard county planning director Barry Beagle give an update on the county's Building Code Exploratory Committee, which will hear public comments from the building and development community at 5:15 p. …

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