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NYS Comptroller


The Academy for New York State's Local Officials

Protecting the Public’s Interest: A Tutorial on Local Government Ethics and Transparency in New York State

Module 2 - Codes of Ethics and Other Local Actions

Text for Video - Boards of Ethics

You may be watching this presentation and be concerned that you may be dealing with the potential of conflict of interest.  Where are some additional places where you can receive some guidance on this matter?  One of the places where you can receive guidance is your local board of ethics.  Section 808 of the General Municipal Law authorizes a county, and other municipalities, to establish a board of ethics.  A county board of ethics is established by a county governing board if so established, Section 808 provides provisions as to the composition of the board.  The county board of ethics will provide advisory opinions to municipal officers and employees upon a written request dealing with issues of Article 18 in codes of ethics.  Also, the Attorney General’s office has written an advisory opinion where counties, cities, towns, and villages, by local law, may expand on these powers.  In addition, county boards of ethics may also provide recommendations as to drafting code of ethics as well as making amendment to the codes of ethics for municipalities within the county. In addition to a county board of ethics, governing boards of other municipalities may also establish a board of ethics.  If they so establish a board of ethics, they have the same powers and duties of the county board and are governed under the same conditions as the county board; however, they can only act as to the municipal officers and employees within that municipality.

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