Ethical Hero

Nominate an Ethical Hero! | Nominations open December 21, 2020-January 15, 2021


Download the Nomination Form   Download and Share the Flyer


The purpose of the Cal-ICMA Ethical Hero Award is to recognize Cal-ICMA members who have served in the local government profession with dignity, honor and integrity and have demonstrated exceptional ethics while carrying out their duties in local government.


Ethics and integrity are the cornerstones of professional local government management.  Many times, following the ICMA Code of Ethics is difficult and can have career limiting impacts in political climates.  Adhering to high ethical standards usually goes unrecognized by the public or media.  However, when these attributes are violated, it can damage the public’s sense of trust for all local government professionals. 

In 2010, the scandal in the City of Bell rocked the core of the city management profession as individuals purporting to be local government professionals, for their own personal gain, illegally and deceitfully decimated the City.  The tragedy in Bell was so extraordinary and caused so many negative repercussions that the Cal-ICMA Ethics Committee decided to recognize individuals who model the core values of the profession.  Thus, the Ethical Hero Award was created.

Because ethics are so integral to the City Management profession, this award is viewed by Cal-ICMA as extremely high profile.  It is only given to those that have gone above and beyond to display the highest level of professionalism and integrity through an ethical dilemma.  Receiving this award is one of the greatest honors that an individual may achieve. 


The Cal-ICMA Ethics Committee will be responsible for administering this award.  The following guidelines will govern how the award will be administered each year:

  • Individuals who wish to nominate a Cal-ICMA member for this award must complete the nomination form and submit it to the West Coast Regional Director at
  • Through the West Coast Regional Director, members of the Ethics Committee will review the nominations.  Subsequent conference calls to evaluate the nominations will be scheduled as necessary.
  • Nominations will be evaluated on specific criteria:
    • Nominee must be a member in good standing of Cal-ICMA.
    • Nominee must exemplify and model the ICMA Code of Ethics through decisions and actions in a manner that highlights the highest integrity and character.
    • Nominee must exemplify the best standards of the profession.
    • Nominee must have demonstrated their commitment to the local government profession.
  • Once the individual recipient is selected, the Cal-ICMA President will notify the honoree(s) and send a letter inviting them to the award presentation.
  • The West Coast Regional Director will order the award with the name plate and prepare written comments for the Cal-ICMA President’s presentation of the award(s).
  • The honoree(s) will be presented with their award at the Cal-ICMA Board Meeting by the Cal-ICMA President at the League of California Cities City Managers Department Annual Conference or at another statewide event as organized by Cal-ICMA that would allow for proper recognition.  The honoree(s) will also be publicly acknowledged during the Cal-ICMA sponsored keynote session.
  • The West Coast Director will prepare a written summary of the honoree(s), post it on the Cal-ICMA website and forward it to ICMA for inclusion in the e-newsletter or other communication channels. 

Download the Nomination Form   Download and Share the Flyer