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Advisory Council on Ethics (ACE)

ACE Opinions

Opinions (select number for complete opinion)

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NO. 1 - If a state agency, the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, can hire a person at an above par salary without benefit of competitive hiring standards and for what appears to be political reasons.

NO. 2 - Should a Correctional Officer avoid using force in a potentially violent situation with an offender when the use of force could have been justified?

NO. 3 - When is it appropriate for a TDCJ trainer to conduct private training? Who can the audience be? Can a trainer present a course that they train as part of their job? Does it matter if the lesson plan from work is re-created? How (when, where) can a trainer solicit business? May a trainer use any information from courses they train at TDCJ, or from courses trained by others in TDCJ?

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NO. 4 - Should the Texas Department of Criminal Justice have a governing directive or policy for the use of an Employee Contact Log?

NO. 5 - Should someone who is to conduct a hiring board intervene to have a person reinstated to be interviewed after that person was screened out by the Personnel Department?

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NO. 6 - What is the position on a person who is furnished State housing as part of his job, renting rooms in the house to other people? What is the position regarding people who are supplied State housing living in the house with someone of the opposite sex to whom they are not married? What is the position on someone whose job description does not call for State housing continuing to occupy State housing?

NO. 7 - An employee submitted a question regarding the use of State vehicles, and wanted to know if it was appropriate for a chain-bus to be utilized for delivery of toys collected for the Toys for Tots charity drive. The employee felt it was inappropriate but wished for ACE to issue an opinion.

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NO. 8 - Should a TDCJ employee, who's job description includes the negotiation and signing of contracts with outside businesses for goods or services, accept an invitation to a social function or entertainment offered as a result of that business relationship?

NO. 9 - If a Senior Warden and his wife are not allowed to work on the same unit, is it ethical for a Senior Warden to date an employee that is on his shift?

NO. 10 - The Advisory Council on Ethics received a question regarding a TDCJ employee who, while on state time, engaged in charitable activity on behalf of another TDCJ employee who was ill and hospitalized. The writer questioned whether it was appropriate for a significant amount of state time, as well as state supplies and equipment, to be used in this way.

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NO. 11 - Can Texas Department of Criminal Justice employees run for elective office?

NO. 12 - An employee asked, "Are there guidelines in employee rules of conduct relating to wearing an Avon® pin or handing out books and samples at work?"

NO. 13 - An employee asked, "Is it ethical for me to bring a personal disk to work, put clip art files on the disk from my computer, and take it home for personal use?"

NO. 14 - The Advisory Council on Ethics received a question regarding the use of state resources and offender labor for remodeling of a state-issued house.

INFORMAL REQUEST - Is it unethical or a violation of TDCJ policies for a Warden to use state equipment for personal use? Is sending a Christmas card in an official TDCJ manila envelope a misuse of TDCJ property? Is it misuse of state property to send Christmas greetings through the TDCJ e-mail system? If it is allowed for directors and supervisors, does that mean that people in staff positions could also send Christmas wishes through the e-mail system without facing reprimand for misuse of state property?