Skip to main content

Year-long review process produces first recommendations

Published: 2/11/2019

For More Information Contact:

Chairman A. Gregg Pulver
Cell 914-474-0908

Poughkeepsie, NY – Legislative Chairman Gregg Pulver and Dutchess County Executive Marcus J. Molinaro announce the legislative introduction of a completely redesigned Code of Ethics and term limits for the offices of Legislator, County Executive, and Comptroller. In 2017, the Chairman and Executive formed the Ethics and Independent Reapportionment Advisory Committee with the mandate of producing a more thorough and strict Code of Ethics and Financial Disclosure. The proposed Code is based on the recommendations of the Committee.

Members of the Advisory Committee reviewed codes from throughout the country, state and region in order to compile the most effective Code. The Code of Ethics was created to establish standards of ethical conduct for officers, employees, and certain appointed officials to afford them clear guidance as to these standards, and to ensure that county government is free from improper influence so as to assure public confidence and trust. They are continuing their work in the form of reviewing the County Legislature’s reapportionment process and other charter reviews.

Amendments to the Code include:

  • Requiring candidates for county-wide office to fill out a financial disclosure
  • Prohibiting elected officials from requesting political work from their employees
  • Disclosing outside income
  • Strengthening the Board of Ethics powers and duties
  • Clear and concise recusal process if a conflict exists

Enacting term limits will restrict the influence of incumbency and better preserve fresh life in our local elected bodies and offices. Each position will be maxed out at twelve years. State law preempts the County from enacting term limits on the positions of Sheriff, County Clerk and District Attorney.

“This new Code of Ethics and Financial Disclosure will guard against violations and shine a light on any potential conflicts of interest,” said Chairman Gregg Pulver. “No one will be able to hide impropriety under this proposal. After having reviewed numerous codes from other municipalities, I am confident that this is the leader of establishing ethical standards. Good government relies on fresh eyes and fresh ideas. In a County of 300,000 there will always be people willing and able to serve. Term limits will increase citizen engagement in government.”

County Executive Molinaro said, “This county has been committed to ensuring greater transparency, holding officials accountable and ensuring greater public participation. These reforms are a continuation of our efforts and a strong statement that we seek to hold ourselves to the highest standard.  I am proud to present and support these real reforms with Chairman Pulver, grateful to the Committee for its work and look forward to these becoming law.”

The County Legislature will be discussing both proposals at their next Government Services and Administration Committee on March 7th at a time to be determined.