However, when I began state service in 1967, new employees were issued a handbook. Inside the back cover was listed a code of ethics for state employees. It, of course, outlined actions that were impermissible such as using influence to help friends and taking bribes. These are almost too obvious to need justification. But in addition, it said that state employees should not only avoid unethical behavior but even “the appearance” of unethical behavior. In other words, consider how your actions will look to others. Be transparent and open in everything you do.
Government employees, including (or perhaps especially) elected officials, need to take this admonition to heart. It could save their constituencies needless embarrassment and loss of faith in government.