Reprinted from Roll Call (November 15, 2011)
Q: I am a Senate staffer with a question about searching for a new
job while still employed by the Senate. A senior staffer in our office recently
told me that he is seeking a job in the private sector. He has already
interviewed with a number of firms but says he was unimpressed and never
considered joining them. He now plans to interview with a few more, but he has
yet to schedule interviews. I am pretty sure that there was a rule change a few
years back requiring staffers to report job negotiations with outside employers
in order to prevent conflicts of interest. But the senior staffer hasn’t done
so. Should I report him to the Ethics Committee?
A: This is sort of a toned-down version of a good Samaritan question.
If you are aware that someone is breaking a Senate ethics rule, are you required
to do anything about it?
While this is an intriguing question, before even considering it, there is
actually a threshold question that needs to be addressed. Are you really aware
that someone is breaking a rule in the first place?
You are certainly correct that there are Senate rules governing employment
negotiations for Members and senior staffers. These rules were changed