The Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission yesterday adopted a new code of ethics requiring financial disclosure statements from senior officials and prohibiting employees from engaging in situations in which the potential for a conflict of interest exists.
The code, the troubled establishes a board of ethics to review any allegations against employees. The board then forwards its findings and recommendations to the agency's administrators for possible action.
Five of the six WSSC commissioners voted in favor of the code, which has been under discussion since January. WSSC chairman Vera Berkman abstained, claiming the financial disclosure form "did not go far enough" to permit uncovering questionable financial practices by employees.
The code prohibits former employees from appearing before the WSSC as representatives of outside busiemployment. Commission member David R. Scotton hailed this section of the code as something that would lead to more independent agency decisions.
Scotton noted that Robert J. McLeod, the WSSC's controversial former general manager, recently represented Prince George's County in discussions before the board. However, Scotton said that he did not know if McLeod would now be prohibited from appearing before the board until 18 months had elapsed since his Dec. 31, 1976, resignation.
McLeod, reached at his home, said he had acted in an "advisory" capacity to the county. "If they (the county) want my advice in the future, I'll certainly give it," he said.
WSSC employees must conduct business in such an impertial manner that all persons understand that that no WSSC employee can be improperly influenced," according to the code's declaration of policy.
In late 1975 five WSSC inspectors were indicted on 122 counts of bribery and attempted bribery. The indicArthur P Brigham said yesterday that "some" of the people named in the - Indictment are still working for the agenpositions.*