Town Board Tightens Ethics, Financial Rules

The Huntington Town Board enacted ethics reforms, strengthening the Town’s Ethics Code and financial disclosure requirements at its recent meeting.

The Town Board added clarifications and amendments to the Town Ethics Code to be consistent with state law. Amendments included adding grandparents and grandchildren to the definition of “Relative;” adding dependents to reporting requirements; requiring town political party chairpersons to file annual statements of financial disclosure; expanding the window, from 30 to 90 days, prohibiting Town officers and employees from seeking or accepting future private post-government employment with persons or organizations with certain matters pending before the employee or any board or commission; strengthening rules preventing nepotism; requiring reporting persons hired after the reporting deadline to file disclosure statements within 30 days of starting employment; and shortening the window, from six months to three months, in which newly elected, appointed or hired officers and employees must receive ethics training.

Supervisor Chad A. Lupinacci said, “Ethics reform has been a priority of my administration and I am pleased to announce that in addition to enacting term limits in my first month in office and successfully enhancing the independence of the Ethics Board from Town leadership during my first year, we have now strengthened the Town’s Ethics Code to ensure our government is as open and transparent as possible for the residents we serve.”

 The Town Board also amended the Town of Huntington Annual Statement of Financial Disclosure, per the recommendation of Ethics Board counsel Stephen Leventhal, providing updated contact information for the Board of Ethics should a reporting person have an inquiry; making the box for checking “none” more conspicuous; excluding the reporting of credit card debt; and allowing for the aggregation of investments of less than 5% of publicly held corporations by identifying the brokerage firm (instead of individual stocks).

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