Making a Federal Case Out of Corruption
To preserve the public’s trust, laws were designed at both the state and federal levels to prevent breaches of trust by local officials. Therefore, improper conduct can violate both sets of laws.
State laws tend to be more specific in describing what kind of behavior crosses the line. Federal law is broader in some respects and thus arguably offers more opportunities for missteps.
The article at right explains federal laws governing public service ethics, with a particular focus on “honest services fraud.” The article was originally published in 2006, but was updated in early 2012 to cover the United States Supreme Court’s decision in the Enron (Skilling) case and its aftermath.