Friday, May 20, 2016

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Kingston mayor dissolves ethics board

KINGSTON – The City of Kingston, which has an ethics code, currently has no ethics board to administer it. Mayor Steven Noble dismissed all five board members in a letter dated Monday, May 16.

The news was confirmed Thursday by former board Chairwoman Jean Jacobs, who received her termination letter on Tuesday. Over the next few days, she learned that all remaining board members were similarly removed – leaving five empty seats.

“Every board member that served on the ethics board, we are no longer a board,” Jacobs acknowledged. “You want to know why, or any of the other ins and outs, it’s the direction of my board that you contact the current administration.”  

Jacobs said the board has done “an exemplary job” and do not want to get involved in “a political football. We are not politicians, we are charged to protect the public trust.”

Shayne Gallo, the previous mayor, appointed the ethics board that Mayor Noble inherited. Ethics members are considered impartial unpaid volunteers, who wield investigative and disciplinary powers, including removing elected officials from public office.

Noble declined to comment on the ethic board issue to Mid-Hudson News late Thursday.

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