Watchdogs

Published — December 31, 2001 Updated — May 19, 2014 at 12:19 pm ET

New York

A snapshot of ethics practices in New York

Introduction

Oversight Summary
Oversight Survey

New York is one of 27 states in which no outside agency oversees ethical conduct of state legislators. It is one of 18 of those states where no ethics agency oversees any aspect of disclosure. New York is among seven of those states – including Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio and South Carolina – in which an outside agency is setup to oversee other divisions of government.

More Info

What, if any, ethics agency exists in the state?

New York has the New York State Ethics Commission, which is enabled by Executive Law s. 94. The commission does not have jurisdiction over state legislators. It oversees officers and employees in the executive branch of government, as well as certain political party chairs and the four statewide elected officials.
http://www.dos.state.ny.us/ethc/ethics.html
http://assembly.state.ny.us/leg/?cl=39&a=9

If the above agency does not oversee legislators, is legislative oversight defined in statute?

Yes. New York also has the Legislative Ethics Committee, which is enabled by Legislative Law s. 80, “Legislative Ethics.” It oversees members of the legislature, legislative employees and candidates for member of the legislature. Membership consists of eight legislators — four from each chamber, evenly split between political parties.
http://assembly.state.ny.us/leg/?cl=55&a=10

Are there state statutes that address ethical conduct for legislators?

Yes. New York Public Officers Law ss. 73, 73-a and 74, including “Business or professional activities by state officers and employees and party officers,” “Financial disclosure,” and “Code of Ethics,” apply to the people overseen by both the State Ethics Commission and the Legislative Ethics Committee.
http://assembly.state.ny.us/leg/?cl=94&a=6

When were the ethics statutes enacted?

1987

Where do legislators file outside interest disclosures?

New York Legislative Ethics Committee. See Info Resources.
No Web site.

Where do legislators file campaign finance disclosures?

New York State Board of Elections
http://www.elections.state.ny.us/finance/finance.htm

Where are lobbying disclosures filed?

New York Temporary State Commission on Lobbying
http://www.nylobby.state.ny.us/lobby.html

Note: Some information provided by the Council on Governmental Ethics Laws’ “Ethics Update” 2000. For more information or to purchase the reference, visit www.cogel.org.

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