Ethics Board

Board of Ethics 

Board of Ethic's Complaint Form (Revised 7-10-19)

ARTICLE I General Provisions [Amended 8-8-1983, 1-9-1984, 3-11-1991 by Ord. No. 13-91; 9-24-2001 by Ord. No. 16-2001; 9-12-2005 by Ord. No. 6-2005]

§ 34-5. Board of Ethics

Thursday, January 12, 2017
Chapter 34. Ethics, Code of
Article I. Code of Ethics of the City of Newburgh
§ 34-5. Board of Ethics.

A. There is hereby established a Board of Ethics for the municipality. The Board of Ethics shall consist of five members, a majority of whom shall not be officers or employees of the municipality, but at least one of whom must be a municipal officer or employee. The members of such Board of Ethics shall be appointed by the City Council of the City of Newburgh.

B. The Board of Ethics, as constituted at the time of the enactment of this chapter, shall continue in existence. The term of office of each member shall be five years, and the term shall continue until a successor shall be appointed. If a vacancy shall occur other than by expiration of the term, it shall be filled in the same manner as the predecessor appointment to complete the unexpired term.

C. A chairperson of the Board of Ethics shall be selected by a majority vote of the members of the Board of Ethics.

D. The Board of Ethics shall serve at the pleasure of the City Council. The body shall receive no salary or compensation for their services as members of the Board of Ethics.

E. No member shall hold the office of Chair, First Vice Chair, Second Vice Chair, Secretary or Treasurer, or Sergeant at Arms in a federal, state or Orange County political party. No more than four members shall be of the same enrolled political party affiliation at the time of their appointment.

F. Powers and duties of the Board of Ethics. The Board of Ethics shall have the following powers and duties:
(1) The Board of Ethics shall render advisory opinions to the officers and employees of the City of Newburgh with respect to Article 18 of the General Municipal Law and this code. Such advisory opinions must be rendered pursuant to the written request of any member of the general public, any officer or employee of the City of Newburgh or any member of the Board of Ethics in accordance with the following procedures:
(a) The complaint must be submitted on a form as prescribed by the Board of Ethics which shall be available at the office of the City Clerk and on the City of Newburgh website. The Board of Ethics shall not consider any complaint form which is incomplete;
(b) The complaint must be signed by the complainant and include a current, valid address of the complainant;
(c) The complaint shall be mailed to the Board of Ethics or to Newburgh City Hall, or submitted to the office of the City Clerk, for filing with the Board of Ethics;
(d) Written receipt of complaints shall be acknowledged within 60 days of receipt of the complaint;
(e) All complaints shall be kept in the confidential records of the Board of Ethics;
(f) No meeting or proceeding or hearing of the Board of Ethics concerning a possible violation of this chapter shall be open to the public, except upon the written request of the officer of the City or employee, or as required by the provisions of Article 7 of the Public Officers Law or by some other state or federal law or regulation;
(g) The Board of Ethics shall render an advisory opinion on all complaints;
(h) Should the Board of Ethics determine there appears to be merit or probable cause in the complaint, it shall send a written invitation to the officer or employee in question to appear at a private meeting of the board to explain the issue in dispute. The invitation shall contain a statement of the facts upon which the Board of Ethics has relied for its determination of probable cause and a statement of the provisions of law allegedly violated. Such City officer or employee shall have a reasonable time to respond either orally or in writing and shall have the right to be represented by counsel or any other person;
(i) If, after consideration of the response of the officer or employee, the Board of Ethics determines that there remains probable cause to believe that a violation has occurred, the Board of Ethics shall hold or direct a hearing to be held on the record to determine whether such violation has occurred or refer the matter to the appropriate department or appointing authority if the City officer or employee is subject to the jurisdiction of any state law or collective bargaining agreement which provides for conduct of disciplinary proceedings. When such matter is referred to such department or appointing authority, the department or appointing authority shall consult with the board before issuing a final decision;
(j) If the Board of Ethics determines, after a hearing or the opportunity for a hearing, that a City officer or employee has violated this article, it shall, after consultation with the head of the department or appointing authority for the officer or employee, issue an advisory opinion recommending such penalties as provided for by this article as it deems appropriate to the head of the department or appointing authority. The advisory opinion shall include findings of fact and conclusions of law. When a penalty is recommended, the head of the department or the appointing authority shall report to the Board of Ethics what action was taken;
(k) The findings, conclusions, advisory opinions and recommendations of the Board of Ethics shall be made public if it is determined that the person who was the subject of the hearing knowingly violated this article or that it is unreasonable that such person did not know of such violation;
(l) The Board of Ethics shall maintain an index of all persons found to be in violation of this article by name, office and date of order. The index and the determination of probable cause and orders in such cases shall be made available for public inspection and copying;
(m) Nothing contained in this section shall prohibit the appointing authority of a City officer or employee from terminating or otherwise disciplining such City officer or employee, where such appointing authority is otherwise authorized to do so; provided, however, that such an action by the appointing officer shall not preclude the board from exercising its powers and duties under this article with respect to actions of any City officer or employee.
(2) The Board of Ethics shall have the advice of legal counsel employed by the board or, if none, the municipality's legal counsel.
(3) The Board of Ethics may make recommendations with respect to the drafting and adoption of a Code of Ethics, or amendments thereto, upon the request of the City of Newburgh.
(4) The Board of Ethics may accept from the general public or any of its own members or any City officer or employee a complaint or allegation of a violation of this chapter by a City officer or employee.
(5) The Board of Ethics shall have the power to issue subpoenas and require the appearances of witnesses to testify under oath and to require the production of books and records and other physical evidence; and following which and as part thereof, make recommendations to the City Council, City Manager, Corporation Counsel and/or other appropriate public officer or agency as to such further action, discipline or other measures as the board deems fitting and proper.
(6) The Board of Ethics shall receive and serve as the reviewing agency of all annual letters of disclosure filed by such City officers, officials and employees as are required to do so by this chapter. Following the review of such and any further action or investigation arising therefrom, the Board of Ethics shall then convey all such original annual letters of disclosure to the City Clerk whose office shall be the official repository thereof.
(7) The Board of Ethics shall receive and approve for good cause shown or reasonably deny any application for an extension of time to file the annual letter of disclosure required by this chapter. Such approval or denial shall be based upon a full and fair consideration of the application and the relevant facts and circumstances. The Board of Ethics shall provide such applicant with the written decision of the Board of Ethics and the basis thereof.

Board Members

Name Title
Barbara J Smith Chairwoman
Valarie Larry Board Member
Nancy Colas Board Member
Nick Valentine Board Member
Pat Berardinelli Board Member