The city of Brownsville is close to approving a new Code of Ethics after years of operating with an expired one, and commissioners are including a portion that will protect employees from retaliation.
“I think when you get busy with the workings of the city and all the challenges that we face it just kind of fell down in the order of priority and that’s not an excuse but it is what it is, so it’s time for us to put that book on the priority list which is what we’re doing,” said Commissioner Rose Gowen.
City staff are currently researching the best practices for the new code of ethics, making sure it’s up to date and modern, and includes protection for employees who speak out on corruption.
“The whistleblower policy is to protect those whistleblowers, the folks that might want to come forward and put something out there that is not known in general,” Gowen said.
This comes after a fiery city meeting took place last month, when Brownsville’s city commissioners voted to abolish the Audit and Oversight Committee that learned of alleged wrongdoing by former Fire Chief Carlos Elizondo and former City Manager Charlie Cabler.
The policy will ensure that employees who call attention to wrongdoings in the city will be able to do so without being penalized.
The city of Brownsville hopes the new code of ethics will be ready by February.