COEUR d'ALENE - The city of Coeur d'Alene wants to add language in its personnel rules spelling out mayor or city council family members can't be hired as employees.
The change, one of four proposed amendments to employee rules, is the Idaho statute the city said it inadvertently violated when it hired City Council President Ron Edinger's three grandchildren as seasonal workers.
The three grandchildren were fired earlier this year after city officials said the rule was pointed out to them.
"It's about time," Edinger said Monday on adding the language. "I think it should be known, and I think all department heads should know about it."
The General Services Committee recommended the city adopt the changes, which include adding ecstasy to its tested drugs per Department of Transportation federal standards.
Adding the nepotism rule will put in print what slipped under the city's radar before then-City Council challenger Adam Graves inquired about it.
Graves was asking the city about the status of Edinger having a daughter, Paula Austin, as a city employee.
Austin had been employed before the rule prohibiting nepotism was put on the books, so was grandfathered in, but the question prompted the city's legal department to ask if any other council members had family as employees, a violation of the state statute.
The city then fired Edinger's grandchildren.
Personnel rules, including nepotism, were discussed at City Council meetings in 2004 and 2006, according to city minutes, and Edinger reportedly spoke about it in a 2000 Spokesman Review newspaper article, but officials and Edinger said at the time they were unaware of the rule.
Pam McDonald, human resources director, said the language is being added to the personnel rules because of the incident.
"No person related to a Mayor or Council Member by blood or marriage within the second degree shall be appointed," the rule states.
The other tweaks: Found property by a city employee in the course of employment shall become city property - auctioned off if unclaimed - and records relating to personnel, including correspondence, examinations and reports may be destroyed after a period of two years from their inception.
The proposed changes will go before the City Council at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 20 in the Community Room of the Coeur d'Alene Public Library.