TOWN OF POUGHKEEPSIE – Members of the Town of Poughkeepsie Republican Committee have filed an ethics complaint against Democratic Legislator Giancarlo Llaverias. The complaint alleges that Llaverias violated the Dutchess County Code of Ethics by being employed by Dutchess Community College (DCC) while simultaneously serving as a legislator.
The complaint lodged with the ethics committee claims that, among other violations, Llaverias violated New York State Law by “accepting employment on the teaching staff of a county-sponsored community college within that county.” Llaverias was employed by DCC from January to August of 2018.
The GOP also alleges that Llaverias violated the Code of Ethics by voting on DCC bond resolutions in 2018. On July 3, 2018, Llaverias, who is not a member of the legislature’s budget committee, spoke in favor of the college budget and identified himself as an “educator” but was not specific about his employment at DCC.
Legislative rules mandate that a legislator recuse him or herself from discussion of an issue which involves a conflict of interest. At the following board meeting on July 9, Llaverias recused himself from voting on the school’s budget saying that DCC is his employer.
The complaint, signed by GOP Committee member John McBride, among others claim that Llaverias, in his position as a legislator, lobbied state officials to increase funding for DCC through a letter he sent to Assemblywoman Didi Barrett and Senator Susan Serino back in May of 2018. The complaint says that Llaverias should have been forced to give up his seat on the legislature when he took the position with the college.
In response to being made aware of the ethics complaint, Llaverias said “It was never told to me at any point in my time as a legislator that I needed to disclose my place of employment.”
When asked if he would comment on the complaint in general, Llaverias declined.
The ethics committee, a board of five, has received the complaint electronically from their advisor in the county attorney’s office. A meeting to discuss the matter will likely be held in September.