METRO’S BOARD of directors showed its ethical mettle when it undertook a no-holds-barred investigation into troubling questions surrounding the conduct of D.C. Council member Jim Graham (D-Ward 1) as a representative of the transit agency. But efforts to put the board’s house in order cannot stop with the findings of fact concerning Mr. Graham. The board must now determine if reforms are needed in the governance of the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority.
An international law firm reviewed Mr. Graham’s 2008 actions and concluded that his attempt to barter a Metro development project for another matter before the D.C. Council violated Metro’s code of conduct. But it also issued a separate report on recommended changes to the agency’s policies and practices. Proposals by Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP included suggestions to strengthen Metro ethics rules (spelling out, for example, a prohibition against vote-trading) and to create an independent ethics committee to enforce the code.