Introduction: Recent cases of unethical behavior in organizations indicate the need to carry out empirical research about it. Objective: Determine the existence of a relationship between ethics and leadership, demanded by society and prescribed by various academic theories. Method: For this reason, through the conduction of non-experimental, cross-sectional, quantitative research, it is sought to make a process of falsification of the theoretical proposals in the context of a municipal mayoralty. In the development of the research, the responses of 219 leaders were satisfactorily received, answering questions from two psychometric instruments of wide recognition and academic validity, the Ethics Position Questionnaire and the Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire. They were carried out both through an exploratory data analysis and a confirmatory factor analysis, and a model of structural equations that tested the existence of a relation between the ethical position and the styles of leadership. Results: It was also possible to identify the influence exerted by the different ethical positions in each one of the styles of leadership in a local public administration. Conclusions: These findings facilitate the identification of ethical leadership models in local public organizations and contribute towards the empirical demonstration of the current discussion on the relationship between ethics and leadership in organizations.
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