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Poloncarz signs new Erie County ethics law

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Wed, Mar 28th 2018 06:25 pm
Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz (seated) is joined by Erie County legislators (from left) Thomas Loughran (5th District), Lynne Dixon (9th District), Joseph Lorigo (10th District), Peter Savage III (3rd District) and John Bruso (8th District) as he signs a new code of ethics into law for Erie County elected officials, officers and employees. The new law, which was passed unanimously by the legislature, replaces a version originally adopted in 1989 and increases transparency along with providing clear definitions of conflicts of interest.
Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz (seated) is joined by Erie County legislators (from left) Thomas Loughran (5th District), Lynne Dixon (9th District), Joseph Lorigo (10th District), Peter Savage III (3rd District) and John Bruso (8th District) as he signs a new code of ethics into law for Erie County elected officials, officers and employees. The new law, which was passed unanimously by the legislature, replaces a version originally adopted in 1989 and increases transparency along with providing clear definitions of conflicts of interest.
New code replaces twice-amended original adopted in 1989; clarifies language, increases transparency
On Wednesday, 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 that was originally adopted in 1989 and was amended in 1994 and again in 2015, but still contained "conflicting language and ambiguous provisions." Poloncarz's team said 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," Poloncarz said. "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 30 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. 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 law can be read HERE.

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