In October 1999 the Miami-Dade County Commission took another small step in the right direction when it unanimously approved expansion of the powers of the county's Commission on Ethics by allowing the group to initiate its own investigations. Previously the ethics panel could only act if a member of the public filed a complaint. Few in the community had the courage to challenge a sitting county commissioner, and so the ethics commission had received few complaints, even though it was eager to move. The statute of limitations on possible ethics violations also was extended from one year to three. "I think it will give us another piece of the puzzle to fight corruption," Robert Meyers, executive director of the Commission on Ethics, told the county commission. Let's hope so.


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