Friday, February 21, 2014

Facebook and ethics (DOCUMENTS)


It appears the Ethics Commission is moving forward with an inquiry into the actions of two Troy councilmen – Council President Rodney Wiltshire and Councilman Bob Doherty, D-District 4.
 It’s been a long time since the Ethics Commission in Troy did or said anything – the last time I remember was back in the 90s when questions arose about then Deputy Mayor Jim Conroy’ and his father’s estate – so I guess in that regard it’s a pleasant turn of events.
It’s been known they were taking a peak at Doherty for his ill-advised visit to the New York State Liquor Authority on behalf of Kokopellis. I’m not sure if he violated any formal ethical obligations he has as an elected representative, but it sure caused quite the stir since … well … the Jan. 25 incident caused quite a stir on a number of different levels.
The commission is looking at Wiltshire because of comments made on social media that said he has a financial interest in the Fourth Street bar. Now, this is just a guess, but if the commission took a look at everything that is said on social media they would be the busiest panel in City Hall history.
As to Doherty, the section of CityCode that deals with ethics is pretty comprehensive and applies to officials across the board – elected and appointed. It specifically states all those covered cannot advocate for another entity that has an interest in front of the city. For example, a Councilman could not appear in front of the Planning Commission on behalf of business looking to open its doors in the city. But, it doesn’t specifically say anything about appearing in front of a state agency.
Doherty told the Times Union he went with the bars’ owners, Barry and Joe Glick, because the business was in his district and to urge the SLA to not take any drastic action, such as close the bar down, until the number of investigations into what transpired on Jan. 25 are complete.
Plausible, I guess, but still ill-advised since there is so much controversy regarding the bar and because Doherty, as chair of the Public Safety Committee, was, at the time, holding hearings on the matter with the goal of reaching an objective conclusion. The SLA, I don’t think, cares too much about anything else – allegations of police brutality, racial tensions or political undertones – except if Kokopellis followed state law or not.
As far as Wiltshire goes, since he is covered under the Code of Ethics he has to disclose all outside business interests within the city and any interest within a mile of the city line. Below is his latest disclosure statement and I’m told the other two are similar and don’t include a mention of any financial interest he has in Kokopellis.
No, I guess it’s not a perfect system in that Wiltshire or anyone else could just not disclose an interest but why would anyone running for public office not want to tell voters he has a financial stake in a city business. I would think having a vested interest in the city’s future would play well to voters.

If I were more cynical, I would say Wiltshire got brought into the mix because of his decision to break from the Democratic Party proper and the administration too.
Anyway, I tip my hat to the Ethics Commission for meeting and actually doing something. Now maybe they will look into others stuff that has happened like the King Street demolition, the North Central sidewalk debacle, or the Scolite bid process. OK, they may not fall under the commission’s auspices … until someone throws it up on Facebook anyway.  

39 comments:

  1. The Ethics Commission is a joke, investigation one councilman because of something someone said on facebook and not understand their jurisdiction in the other case. It is a political witch hunt clear and simple. If Doherty cannot speak in front of the SLA, how is that different than Bodner and Gordon going to the Comptroller's office?

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    1. The diff is, going to the SLA was just stupid, and going to the Comptrollers office was in response to stupidity.

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    2. I'm glad the ethics commission is doing its job. What's the big deal? If Rodney has no financial ties with Kokopellis, there's nothing to worry about. The ethics commission isn't targeting anyone, just doing its job. Focus on things that matter. Anyone holding public office needs to understand that being scrutinized comes with the job. Just accept it and move on.

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    3. So what you're saying is that the Ethics Committee should do a little fact finding before they decide to investigate a claim.
      Huh, kind of like how Wiltshire should of done a little investigation before he made a claim of police brutality. Now he's backing off those claims as the other videos came out

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    4. Wiltshire never claimed police brutality, he simply called for an outside investigation.

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  2. This Cubit clown thinks he's Joe McCarthy.

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    1. Who appointed him?

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    2. John and all those on the commission are just doing their job. It's not a big deal. Anyone in public office needs to accept that he/she will be scrutinized and not make a fuss about it.

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    3. It is really funny to see Rodney on TV. I heard the question was asked if he had financial interest Kokopellis, but they don't have a disclosure form on file so they asked for an inquiry in to getting it and he blew up all by himself called the press. Very comical to say the least.

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    4. Times Warner and all the other news outlets sought him out. He didn't even know about the Ethics committees allegations until he was called by the press. I guess that's good ethics by john cubit, let the press know first, then the accused.

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  3. Rodney investigation is a joke. But this idiot Doherty needs to go. This Herman Munster looking dope is dangerous to the city.

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  4. It's nice to see the Ethics Commission waking up from its long nap. Its a pity they slept through the ethically-challenged Tutunjian Administration. I guess using Code Enforcement to target political opponents wasn't that important.

    Doherty's infraction, if it is an ifraction, is hardly worth the trouble. However, if Wiltshire does have a financial interest in Glick's place, and it is reportable,he should disclose it and he should recuse himself from any comments on the situation. However, this seems consistent with his "leadership" style: Wiltshire first, City second.

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    1. Glad to see D back. Sorry to see you didn't get that judgeship you sought. Guess it gives you some free time these days.

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    2. How ironic that Democratus is now posting again. I was made aware that Peg Rosamillia and Jolene Wiltshire have left facebook and social media sights for the comments about their husbands are too mean and all lies. When Democratus started the lies and attacks on the republicans it was all fair and in fun. Now the repubs have turned the tables and we're taking our ball and going home. Too funny.

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    3. Peg just wanted to spend more time on her nickelodeon

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  5. Jim what's with all the stories going around town about who paid for Peter Ryan rehearsal dinner at Revolution Hall a few weeks ago. They say that a contractor who is doing a lot of business with the city of Troy paid for it. I'm sure that Peter Ryan would like to get out in front of this and provide info that would make this all go away as well as clearing his name from any improprieties. Many now that's its on your blog the ethics board will look at it.

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    1. I think it is really sad what is happening in the City of Troy. This contractor has a reputation for passing the envelope. Hopefully the feds are reading this blog and the news articles because there have been several stories regarding this North Greenbush contractor and the Deputy Mayor.
      I certainly hope these stories are untrue but when it quacks like a duck it usually is a duck!

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    2. The Casales and the Clementes are all alike, sheep in wolf's clothing. Ask C.B. Smith about their ethics or should I say lack of.

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    3. This isn't the first time that there have been accusations about Peter Ryan and kickbacks. JR is a kickback legend in the construction industries around the capital district. JR also caries RJ's water.

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    4. And how would CB know about ethics.....didn't he sue the classy lassy kids softball league, and wasn't he involved with Germano.

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    5. Someone posted something about Pete Ryan on this blog....where is the ethic commission?!?!?!? lol

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  6. I'm not sure why anyone would investigate an accusation made on social media. If it were creditable, wouldn't the accuser have actually gone to he ethics committee,? And with some proof?

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    1. One would think, but this is Troy and nothing is logical.

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  7. Why don't they take a look at Bill Dunne ??

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    1. Just start a rumor about him on this blog....Ethics committee should be investigating in no time.

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  8. What a bout cubit using zimbified times on social media. It's him.

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  9. 1) No Financial interest and no financial benefit therefor no conflict.
    2)Did not represent any one before the city, thus no jurisdiction.
    3)Was not representing Kopallis in front of the SLA.
    Does the Ethics board have the transcripts from the SLA?.
    4) If not no due diligence..

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    1. Neighborly love.

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    2. Man crush? Munster fetish?

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  10. Something intelligent from this clown cox ?

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  11. If you want to control things, run better candidates. How many elections do you need to lose before you change your approach?

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  12. Check out the Times Union article by Chris Churchill today about Lou and Peter and the awful dealings with the snow plowing. It's classic. Quote " In situation after situation, Rosamilia seems to much like a passive observer and too little like a leader who's shaping the course of events. I won't say the mayor is asleep at the wheel, but he certainly seems to be daydreaming". That's our mayor and everyone outside of Troys perception.

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    1. I read Kopka's pal Churchill's nasty article. Give Lou credit, he went to the 112th Street banquet the other night and stayed the entire time. Although there's pictures circulating of Lou taking a nap many others were too for it was a real snoozer. Elitist Dep mayor Ryan walked through holding his nose at the Burgh people and bolted to the RPI hockey game to sit in Shirley Jackson's box. The rest of the crowd only got to hear Lance describe the box.

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  13. How come no one is questioning Cubit's (and Mazur's) role in all of this. Both he and Mazur lost the election last year running as republicans. Now they are questioning people who won. A major conflict of interest. More importantly, Cubit is running to King Tut, Crist, Wojick, and Gordon with his every move. How much information is he giving them in violation of the confidentiality section of the ethics law. When are people going to realize this is nothing but a political witch hunt with the hopes of taking back the council and mayor's office in two years?

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    1. Any public official should expect to come under scrutiny when he/she takes public office. This is a non issue. Rodney has nothing to fear from the commission. Let's leave Rodney, The Ethics Commission alone to do their respective jobs and support them for helping to make a better Troy.

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    2. Plenty of people are, but what is the Ethic's committee suppose to investigate themselves? They only investigate those that they have a vested interest to beat.

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  14. Weren't Rodney and Tom Aldrich involved in a multi national multi million dollar solar panel production facility? What's up with that? When's that going to happen? It's all Tom talks about.

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