In the wake of questions concerning the business dealings of a fellow board member, the president of the Long Beach Harbor Commission has proposed that the panel adopt its own code of ethics.
"It's the consensus opinion among the commissioners that we need to do something like that," commission President Joel Friedland said this week. "It's kind of an urgent time to do it. . . . It's probably something that should have been done a long time ago."
Under Friedland's proposal, harbor commissioners would be prohibited from doing business with the port and would have to abstain from voting on matters involving port tenants with whom the commissioners do business.
Friedland's recommendation follows revelations that Harbor Commissioner George Talin Sr.'s tire company has sold tires and repair services to the port and several major shippers--at the same time Talin was voting on the shippers' port leases.
Talin, who has denied any conflict of interest, complained that the ethics proposal is an attempt by some commissioners to "discredit" him. He said he supports the adoption of a citywide code of ethics covering the conduct of all local officials, and that the Harbor Commission proposal is premature.
Harbor commissioners will consider the proposal at a future meeting.