Broome County Legislature Chairman Marinich and County Executive Preston announce new County Ethics and Gift Law Reform Proposal

Broome County Legislature Chairman Jerry Marinich and County Executive Preston today announced a proposal to reform the County’s Ethics and Gifts law.

Current County Ethics and Gift laws create a system that is confusing for employees and difficult to monitor and enforce.

Under current law, County employees and officials are allowed to accept gifts valued up to $75.  Employees are required to self-report the gifts that they accept though biannual disclosure statements.

The new proposed law would ban gifts with limited exceptions.

“It’s very important that people have trust in their government”, said Chairman Marinich.  “The County’s ethics and gift rules are in need of reform and these changes will go a long way in restoring that trust.”

In addition to banning gifts, the proposed changes also include:

  • Eliminating the Gift Disclosure statement that creates pointless paperwork
  • Clarifying the Financial Disclosure process to simplify the timeline for submission and review of the Disclosure Statements to be in line with State requirements
  • Spelling out more clearly the responsibilities of the County Ethics Board to review Financial Disclosures, investigate complaints and issue ethics opinions.

“I’ve said from day one as CountyExecutive, this is the people’s government,” said County Executive Preston. “Throughout the nation there is a general distrust in government; this Ethics Reform Legislation will eliminate the potential for improprieties in Broome County Government. We must lead by example. I applaud Chairman Jerry Marinich and the Broome County Legislature for their leadership on this issue.”

The proposed law will be considered by the CountyLegislature in November.

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10/22/2012 - 11:02am