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Ulster Co. ethics code revision encounters resistance

Aug 31, 2018 7:15 am
MidHudsonNews [dot] com is reporting a proposed change in the Ulster County ethics law has drawn harsh criticism during a public hearing held August 30. All four speakers at the hearing severely criticized Local Law #18 of 2018, calling it a terrible idea. Under the revision the county legislature is granted the ability to control membership of the five-person ethics board. The measure was approved by the legislature in June. Under the existing arrangement, the county executive selects and nominates ethic board members and the appointment is confirmed by the legislature. No more than two members of the board can be of the same political party. "It‘s a solution in search of a problem, but it also creates a problem, which also bothers me,” said former League of Women Voters Mid-Hudson Region Co-President Dare Thompson.. “Everybody agrees that the ethics board, as it's currently operating, is just fine." Derek Spada, the ethics board chairman, said the changes are not needed and they violate state municipal law. Former county attorney Beatrice Havranek, said the revision erodes the ideal of checks and balances. County Executive Michael Hein declined comment, saying only that he has 10 days from the public hearing to decide whether to sign the new law, or to veto it. Read the full story at MidHudsonNews [dot] com.