Members of the Billings Ethics Board took the highly unusual step of voting themselves out of existence on Tuesday, but the final judgement on the fate of the board will be in the hands of the City Council next month.  Councilors will have to decide how they want ethics complaints to be handled in the future.


The Ethics Board met with City Attorney Brent Brooks and City Administrator Tina Volek yesterday, then voted 3-0 to eliminate most of what’s written in the Billings City Code about ethics, presumably because similar ethics language already exists at the state level.  During a January work session, the City Council directed Brooks to find out how other Montana cities handle ethics complaints.  Brooks also eliminated– at the council’s request– most of the language contained in city code regarding ethics, while leaving some items intact.  Brooks said the eliminated material concerning ethics is found in state statutes.