Mecklenburg ABC Board Adopts Strict Ethics Policy

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CHARLOTTE, N.C.,None — The Mecklenburg County Alcohol Beverage Control Board adopted a new set of rules to play by on Tuesday. They voted yes to a new ethics policy, but not without hesitation.

ABC board director Angeles Ortega-Moore said she fails to see where the state commission will be able to follow the policy because it limits standard business practices.

The new code of ethics states accommodations for traveling board members must be under $99 a night and there's a $35 a day food allowance limit. Anything above that would have to be approved ahead of time.

Gifts, meals and items of value are prohibited. Something as simple as sampling a shot of liquor is not allowed.

"I am worried about the policy being very limiting, to the point people are not able to do their work," said Ortega-Moore.

County commissioners said they hoped the new ethics policy would limit fraternizing.

"Clarifying what the policies are (is important), and the line is clearly drawn. I think there was some ambiguity in the past," said Jennifer Roberts, county commission chair.

Elton Shoemaker is the acting CEO of the ABC board, but Roberts hopes in the next three months a new ABC chief and chairman will be hired.

A meeting will be held Wednesday for managers to adopt the policy. All alcohol suppliers will also get the guidelines and be encouraged to play by the rules.