Press Release

Democrats Propose Legislation Creating County Office of Public Integrity

Rochester, New York - February 24, 2011: Democrats in the Monroe County Legislature today introduced legislation to create an Office of Public Integrity (OPI) to oversee ethics issues within County Government. To provide independence, the newly established office would be managed by a five member Public Integrity Board, to be appointed by the County Executive and Legislative Leaders. The OPI would be overseen by a Director of Public Integrity, whose salary would be funded with the appropriation previously made to the Budget Director, who left to become Airport Director.

Assistant Democratic Leader Carrie M. Andrews (D-Rochester) said, "This proposal will bring a new level of transparency and accountability to County government. This office is structured in such a way that will provide the independence needed to adequately address potential ethical shortcomings. We certainly hope the County Executive and Legislature Majority will support this much needed ethics reform."

Democrats are also proposing the creation of a task force to review how the OPI could work with Town and Village governments to help enforce their ethics policies. This would provide citizens with a single contact which could receive and investigate complaints about ethical lapses at all levels of local government.

County Legislator Cindy Kaleh (D-City of Rochester) said, "In recent years we have seen many abuses of power in our local governments. The tax payers deserve better and a municipal Office of Public Integrity could serve the needs of all the residents of Monroe County. The cost of recent scandals has been high and we must do everything we can to ensure the highest level of integrity-something which to date has been severely lacking."

To view the proposal, click HERE.