In scolding letter, ethics chief tells agency heads to ask themselves ‘Should I do it?’ not ‘Can I do it?’

The Washington Post: The recently appointed federal ethics chief has called on Cabinet secretaries and other government leaders to double down on their commitment to ethical conduct, to ensure that their actions are “motivated by the public good and not by personal interests.”

The two-page letter to agency heads from David J. Apol, acting director and general counsel for the Office of Government Ethics, comes as several members of President Trump’s Cabinet are embroiled in controversy over their use of military and private airplanes to travel for official business.

Inspectors general are investigating the use of noncommercial planes by former Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price — who was forced to resign this month over at least $500,000 he racked up in taxpayer-funded charter flights — as well as Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt and Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke. Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin has also come under scrutiny for taking a taxpayer-funded, 10-day trip to Europe over the summer with his wife and two top aides.

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