City of Paducah Achieves Certified City of Ethics Distinction

Date of Release: 
December 15, 2023

The Kentucky League of Cities (KLC) has designated Paducah as a Certified City of Ethics. Paducah joins more than three dozen other Kentucky cities in the completion of this voluntary program that recognizes cities and city officials that have adopted principles and procedures that offer guidance on ethical issues and a mechanism to resolve complaints at the local level.

Mayor George Bray said, “The Paducah City Commission is proud that Paducah is certified as a City of Ethics by the Kentucky League of Cities. I want the public to know that Paducah is dedicated to transparency and strives every day provide ethical leadership. The process to become a Certified City of Ethics and the reenergizing of Paducah’s Board of Ethics are incredibly important to us since I know that Paducah’s citizens expect their local government to operate efficiently, responsibly, and ethically. I am incredibly thankful for the overwhelming interest demonstrated by our community given the number of applications we received to serve on the Board of Ethics. That board will begin meeting regularly, and we will not hesitate to seek their guidance if necessary. I also want to say thank you to the Kentucky League of Cities for providing this certification program, the detailed training, and legal expertise. KLC is a valuable advocate and resource for Kentucky’s cities.”

To achieve the Certified City of Ethics distinction as developed by KLC, Paducah completed the following elements:

  • In June 2023, Paducah adopted a resolution establishing the six ethics principles to govern the conduct of city officials and employees. The six principles are as follows:
    • Serve the public interest, not our own;
    • Fulfill the duties and responsibilities of holding public office;
    • Be ethical and professional;
    • Be fiscally responsible with the city resources;
    • Communicate effectively and respectively; and
    • Create an environment of honesty, openness, and integrity.
  • In October 2023, the City authorized an agreement with KLC which included reviewing and updating Paducah’s ethics ordinance to ensure that it complies with criteria in KRS 65.003.
  • In December 2023, in consultation with KLC and the City’s attorney, the Board approved amendments to Chapter 2 of Paducah’s Code of Ordinances regarding the Code of Ethics.
  • On December 13, 2023, KLC led the Paducah Board of Commissioners, the Board of Ethics, and department directors through training specifically related to elements in Paducah’s Code of Ethics. This was the final component necessary to achieve certification.

To maintain the certification, the city must go through this process every four years. Paducah current certification is through December 13, 2027.

Read Paducah’s Code of Ethics

About the Certified City of Ethics Program  The Certified City of Ethics program encourages cities to adopt and adhere to a set of key ethical principles and a comprehensive model ethics ordinance. The ordinance guides conduct of city officials and their employees in areas such as financial disclosures, conflicts of interests and outside employment. The ordinance also contains strong penalty provisions – including public reprimands, fines and removal - for city officials and employees who violate the ordinance.

About the Kentucky League of Cities  Based in Lexington, KLC is a voluntary, nonprofit membership association that provides legislative advocacy, legal services, consulting services, and training to more than 360-member cities.  KLC also provides insurance and financial services to municipal agencies throughout Kentucky.


Training on December 13, 2023

Pictured (left to right): Pam Spencer, Communications Manager | Greg Guebert, Assistant City Engineer | Gerald Watkins, Board of Ethics Commissioner | Eric Stuber, Technology Director | Steve Kyle, Fire Chief | Raynarldo Henderson, City Commissioner | Stefanie Wilcox, Human Resources Director | David Guess, City Commissioner | Marcus Turnley, Board of Ethics Commissioner | George Bray, Mayor | Nic Hutchison Planning Director | Chris Johnson – KLC Personnel Services Managing Attorney | Buz Smith, City Commissioner | Chris Yarber, Public Works Director (Note: Yarber is hard to see since he is directly behind Commissioner Smith.) | Sandra Wilson, City Commissioner | Brian Laird, Police Chief | Daron Jordan, City Manager | Amie Clark, Parks & Recreation Director | Lindsay Parish, City Clerk | Claudia Meeks, Assistant City Clerk | Jonathan Perkins, Finance Director

December 2023 Ethics Training