Acting DA Michael Flaherty Pushes New, Tougher Code of Ethics

Modified: May 11, 2016 1:41pm

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District Attorney Michael J. Flaherty, Jr. was invited to speak before the Government Affairs Committee of the Erie County Legislature Thursday, February 25 on his sweeping new proposal to toughen the county’s Code of Ethics.

The Flaherty Plan includes tougher rules for holding government and political party officials accountable and preventing waste, fraud and abuse of taxpayer’s dollars.

“These are basic, common-sense proposals designed to restore the public’s trust in our government,” says Acting District Attorney Flaherty. “I thank the legislators for this invitation and look forward to working with them to make Erie County government more transparent.”

The proposed changes would:

*Limit campaign contributions from companies who do business with Erie County

*Make it a misdemeanor to violate certain provisions of the Code of Ethics

*Prohibit political party officials and their family members from being appointed to county jobs

*Prohibit the hiring of relatives of political party officials to county positions

*Prohibit elected officials from earning outside income with anyone who has a financial interest with Erie County

*Require the immediate firing of an elected or appointed official if convicted of a crime

*Increase financial penalties for certain violations of Ethics laws

The proposed changes are part of Acting DA Flaherty's commitment to weeding out corruption across the county. He has formed the office's first Public Integrity Unit and is looking for feedback from residents, who can report any abuses by filling out a Public Integrity Complaint Form.