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St. Louis’ Zoo-Museum District Ethics Code Committee Reaches Early Consensus

Thomas Campbell
Provided by the Zoo Museum District

Members of a committee charged with reviewing the St. Louis Zoo-Museum District’s ethics code ended their first meeting Monday on a harmonious note.

The ethics policy fell under deeper scrutiny after board member Pat Whitaker resigned in April. Whitaker faced conflict-of-interest allegations after her company won a contract with the Science Center, one of the five ZMD institutions.

Committee head Tom Campbell told St. Louis Public Radio that the three-member panel is nearing agreement on a key, related point.

“I think we’ve reached consensus that there’s some level of discomfort that an employer or a company that one of our board members has a significant monetary interest in, does work directly for the ZMD or one of the five cultural institutions,” Campbell said.

The committee also agreed that ZMD board members should disclose each year a list of all organizations from which they might potentially profit.

The process of simply selecting the ethics-code committee has been a contentious one, in contrast to Monday’s calm discussion.

Future meetings will address a number of issues including the scope of who is covered by the code and what constitutes a significant interest in a company.

The ethics code committee expects it will be at least a month before they present a draft of the revised policy to the full ZMD board.

Nancy is a veteran journalist whose career spans television, radio, print and online media. Her passions include the arts and social justice, and she particularly delights in the stories of people living and working in that intersection.

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