Modified: March 28, 2018 2:36pm
Today, Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz signed a new Local Law (Intro. No. 1-2, 2018) establishing a new Erie County Code of Ethics for elected officials, officers, and employees of the county. The new law, approved unanimously by the Erie County Legislature earlier this month, replaces the current code of ethics, which was originally adopted in 1989 and was amended in 1994 and again in 2015 but still contained conflicting language and ambiguous provisions. The new measure increases transparency and incorporates consistent language to clearly define conflicts of interest, improper acts, and other violations of public employment.
“More than two years ago I called for and proposed the passage of a new, comprehensive and modern Code of Ethics and today that call for action becomes law. By signing this new Code of Ethics into law I am re-affirming my administration’s commitment to open, transparent government in Erie County and sending a signal that the county takes ethical behavior seriously in the public sector, as it should be taken seriously everywhere. The new Ethics Law replaces a version that was nearly thirty years old and had been patched over the years to keep up with the times, but still contained unclear language and guidelines regarding conflicts of interest and what constitutes appropriate behavior,” said Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz. “This law modernizes and clears up our county Code of Ethics, clarifying what is acceptable behavior and what is not while eliminating the ambiguous provisions that had existed for decades. This law also makes clear that the Code of Ethics applies to all county employees, officers and elected officials, not just those in management positions. I thank the Legislature for working with me to move this legislation forward and for moving Erie County into the present with a new Ethics Law.”
The new Ethics Law contains more stringent definitions and requirements for financial disclosure, disclosure of interest in county business, and an individual’s duty to report, among other sections. It also contains clear definitions of prohibited and non-prohibited activities and penalties for violations. The law can be read here.
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