Ethics Board Finds Mayor Violated Code Of Ethics In Soliciting Business From Hospital; Scirocco Offers Censure Resolution

Ethics Board Finding

This is a link to the PDF: Board_of_Ethics_Inquiry_Finding__6-2016 Yepsen

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The Ethics Board has released a letter to Mayor Joanne Yepsen formally notifying her of their advisory opinion regarding her dealings with Saratoga Hospital while they had business pending before the Council.  Apparently the Board drafted their original opinion on March 24th.  According to the document posted on the city’s website, Yepsen declined to meet with the Ethics Board but instead had her attorney send a response to the board. Her attorney’s memorandum was dated June 10th.   On June 20th the Ethics Board held a “hearing” (their term/euphemism since this session occurred in executive session and there is no public record of their deliberations).  Why the delay?  What was the Mayor’s defense?  None of this was made available as part of the decision/letter.

The decision cited section 13-3(I) of the city’s ethics code:

“Outside Employer of Business.  Officers shall not engage in, solicit, negotiate for or promise to accept work for an outside employer or business who does business with the city which creates an implied conflict with or impairs the proper discharge of his official duties or results in personal gain.”

The decision asserts that the statute does not allow for mitigating circumstances.

It then states that “as a matter of law”, Mayor Yepsen violated the city’s ethics code.

Resolution to Censure

Link To PDF of Resolution: Resolution_re_Ethics_Board_Findings_D3_071916

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Commissioner Scirocco has placed on his agenda for tomorrow night a resolution to censure Mayor Yepsen and to refer the matter to the New York State Attorney General’s Public Integrity Bureau and the New York State Joint Commission on Public Ethics.

 

 

 

 

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