SAVANNAH, Ga. — Moultrie was among 36 cities to receive re-certification as a City of Ethics at the Georgia Municipal Association’s annual convention June 24.

The city of Crawfordville was recognized as the most recently certified City of Ethics at the event. Gilmer County also received the County of Ethics certification.

Receiving re-certification were the cities of Acworth, Barnesville, Brunswick, Buford, Centerville, Clarkston, Dawsonville, Donalsonville, Dublin, Dunwoody, Grantville, Helen, Hinesville, Hiram, Lakeland, Luthersville, Madison, Maysville, Meansville, Midway, Moultrie, Mount Airy, Mount Vernon, Newnan, Nicholson, Powder Springs, Reynolds, Sandersville, Savannah, Sugar Hill, Suwanee, Swainsboro, Sylvester, Tifton, Trion and Vienna.

The City of Ethics program began in 1999 and was developed by a panel of business and government leaders to encourage cities to adopt and adhere to a set of key ethical principles and adopt a local ethics ordinance, according to a press release from GMA. The ordinance must contain definitions, prohibited conduct and due process for officials accused of violations in areas such as financial disclosures, conflicts of interests and outside employment. The ordinance must also contain penalties for city officials who violate the ordinance.

GMA requires cities with the designation to re-certify for the program, ensuring that ordinances maintain the standards of the program and city officials are regularly reminded of their ethical obligations as individuals and as a governing body. Each city is required to apply for recertification every four years.

A panel of attorneys reviewed the ordinances to determine if they comply with the criteria set by GMA. The cities received a plaque and are now authorized by GMA to use a “Certified City of Ethics” logo on city stationery, road signs, city vehicles and for other uses.

 Based in Atlanta, GMA is a voluntary, non-profit organization that provides legislative advocacy, educational, employee benefit and consulting services to its 538 member cities.

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