Ethics Decisions

AGA Member Terminated from Membership

Published: 1 June 2020
Date Scheduled for Removal from AGA website: 1 June 2021

Sanction Imposed:
An AGA member was terminated from AGA membership as of 8 May 2020.

Respondent’s Actions that Resulted in the Sanction:

The Professional Ethics Board’s (PEB) investigation concluded that the respondent:

  1. Did not adhere to the standards of conduct of respondent’s employer or AGA due to the unauthorized use of a government vehicle for personal benefit. [These actions violated the Public Interest, Integrity, and Professional Conduct provisions of the AGA Code of Ethics.]
  2. Did not accept personal responsibility for the foreseeable consequences of respondent’s actions by being untruthful with the security guards of respondent’s employer and failure to disclose these activities to respondent’s employer before being confronted. [These actions violated the Public Interest, Integrity, and Professional Conduct provisions of the AGA Code of Ethics.]
  3. Was untruthful in respondent’s employment application for a position with a governmental entity. [This action violated The Public Interest, Credibility, Integrity, and Professional Conduct provisions of the AGA Code of Ethics.]

Sanctions Imposed

The PEB concluded that the first violation above would warrant a sanction of suspension of AGA membership absent other violations. The PEB concluded that the second and third violations above warranted sanctions of termination of AGA membership.

 


AGA Member Reprimanded and Suspended

Published: 1 June 2020

Date Scheduled for Removal from AGA website: 1 June 2021

Sanction Imposed: 

An AGA member was reprimanded and suspended from AGA membership for a period of six (6) months (as of 6 June 2019).

Respondent’s Action(s) that Resulted in Sanctions:

The Professional Ethics Board’s (PEB) investigation concluded that the respondent:

  1. Wrote eight (8) chapter newsletter articles containing verbiage taken from other sources without attribution.
  2. Appointed a chapter audit committee containing members not permitted by the chapter’s by-laws.

Code of Ethics Provisions Violated:

The PEB concluded that the first matter above violated the following provisions of the AGA Code of Ethics and warranted a six-month suspension of AGA membership:

  • Objectives
    • Credibility: Being believable and trustworthy.
    • Professionalism: Acting with the skill, good judgment, and respectful behavior expected of someone trained to do a job well.
    • Confidence: Instilling in others a full and strong belief that ethics govern your actions.
  • Principles
    • Integrity: Being straightforward and honest in performing professional services.
    • Professional Competence and Due Care: Performing job tasks with diligence and maintaining professional knowledge and skills for effective, efficient work.
  • Professional Conduct
    • Obey the law.
    • Behave with integrity, dignity, and respect for others.
    • Adhere to the standards of conduct of your employer and any professional associations or organizations of which you are a member.
    • Perform the duties of your position … with the highest degree of professional care.
    • Exercise diligence, objectivity, and honesty in professional activities.
    • Avoid any activity that creates or gives the appearance of impropriety.

The PEB concluded that the second matter above violated the following provisions of the AGA Code of Ethics and warranted a reprimand:

  • Objectives
    • Professionalism: Acting with the skill, good judgment, and respectful behavior expected of someone trained to do a job well.
  • Principles
    • Professional Competence and Due Care: Performing job tasks with diligence and maintaining professional knowledge and skills for effective, efficient work.
  • Professional Conduct
    • Adhere to the standards of conduct of your employer and any professional associations or organizations of which you are a member.
    • Perform the duties of your position … with the highest degree of professional care.

 


AGA Member Terminated from AGA Membership

Date Published: 1 June 2020

Date Scheduled for Removal from AGA website: 1 June 2021

Sanction Imposed:

An AGA member was terminated from AGA membership as of 3 June 2019.

Respondent’s Actions that Resulted in the Sanction:

The Professional Ethics Board’s (PEB) investigation concluded that the respondent:

  1. Failed to cooperate with the PEB investigation by providing false information related to respondent’s actions at issue in the investigation. (The issue under investigation was whether the respondent temporarily resigned from a Chapter Executive Committee in order to accept a fee for speaking at a chapter event.)

Code of Ethics Provision(s) Violated:

The PEB concluded that the matter above violated the following provisions of the AGA Code of Ethics and warranted termination of AGA membership:

  • Objectives
    • Credibility: Be believable and trustworthy. 
  • Principles
    • Integrity: Be straightforward and honest in performing professional services. 
  • Professional Conduct:
    • Conduct yourself with integrity, dignity, and respect for others. 
    • Adhere to the standards of conduct of your employer and any professional associations or organizations of which you are a member. 
    • Exercise diligence, objectivity, and honesty in your professional activities, including utilization and management of funds. 
    • Avoid any activity that creates or gives the appearance of impropriety; and be aware of your responsibility to disclose to the appropriate parties any improprieties that come to your attention.”

In addition, per the 2003 Ethics Handbook,1 “Under AGA Bylaws, and implementing procedures, a member will be disciplined for failure to cooperate [with an ethics investigation].”

 

1 This investigation was initiated prior to publication of the 2018 Ethics Handbook.

 


AGA Member Terminated from AGA Membership

Date Published: 1 June 2020

Date Scheduled for Removal from AGA website: 1 June 2021

Sanction(s) Imposed:

Former AGA member Jeffrey Hughes was terminated from AGA membership and his CGFM certification was revoked by the AGA Professional Certification Board as of 5 December 2016 following his conviction and sentencing for theft and money laundering.

Respondent’s Action(s) that Resulted in Sanction(s):

Jeffrey Hughes “appeared in [Lawrence County (TN) Circuit] court in October [2016] where, under a plea bargain arrangement, he entered pleas of guilty to one count of theft over $250,000, one count of theft over $10,000, and six counts of money laundering.” 1 According to an investigator, “Hughes admitted to stealing a total of $265,866.84 in a near seven-year period during which he served as treasurer for [Lawrence County Fire and Rescue] and [Crossroads Volunteer Fire Department]. [The investigator] said that, on the average, Hughes diverted $3,632 monthly, or $43,584.73 annually for his personal use. He accomplished this primarily by writing checks to ‘cash’ and using department checks to purchase gift cards at Walmart. Most of the gift cards, [the investigator] said, were sold ‘all over the country’ via eBay. He was able to track purchases made with the cards in various states, including Oklahoma, California, and Texas.”2 “Lawrence County Circuit Court Judge Russ Parkes sentenced Jeffrey Hughes to a total of twenty-seven years, to be served with the Tennessee Department of Corrections.”3

Code of Ethics Provision(s) Violated:

AGA concluded that the matters described above violated the following provisions of the AGA Code of Ethics and warranted termination of AGA membership:

  • The Public Interest
    • Abide by the expectations, standards, and rules of the position, and seek necessary information to interpret and apply them.
    • Accept personal responsibility for the foreseeable consequences of action(s) and inaction.
    • Take into account the long-term interest of the government and its citizens.
  • Objectives
    • Credibility: Be believable and trustworthy.
    • Professionalism: Act with the skill, good judgment and polite behavior expected of someone trained to do a job well.
    • Quality of Service: Provide the highest standards of performance.
    • Confidence: Instill in others a full and strong belief that ethics govern your actions.
  • Principles
    • Integrity: Be straightforward and honest in performing professional services.
    • Professional Conduct
      • Obey the law.
      • Conduct yourself with integrity, dignity, and respect for others.
      • Adhere to the standards of conduct of your employer and any professional associations or organizations of which you are a member.
      • Perform the duties of your position and supervise the work of your subordinates with the highest degree of professional care.
      • Exercise diligence, objectivity, and honesty in your professional activities, including utilization and management of funds.
      • Avoid any activity that creates or gives the appearance of impropriety; and be aware of your responsibility to disclose to the appropriate parties any improprieties that come to your attention.
 
1 Former county commissioner garners 27-year sentence; Lawrenceburg Now, 5 December 2017.
2 Ibid.
3 Ibid.