Ethics complaints against councilman dismissed

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PLEASANT VALLEY – The Pleasant Valley town ethics committee has dismissed two ethics complaints leveled against Councilman John DelVecchio that were filed by fellow board member, Frank Mazzella.  Mid-Hudson News previously reported on the complaints in May, prior to receiving the decision of the ethics committee. 

Councilman Frank Mazzella, who is running against DelVecchio for supervisor, lodged two ethics complaints with the town attorneys, claiming that DelVecchio violated government rules regarding Town of Pleasant Valley “executive sessions.”  The law says that town board members and invited guests that take part in an executive session are sworn to secrecy regarding the topics discussed.  Mazzella asserted that DelVecchio breached that rule on at least two occasions.

The complaints, according to Mazzella, allege that on two occasions, DelVecchio repeated executive session conversations with town residents who were not in the session. In one instance, it is claimed that a town resident was the subject of an executive session regarding employee safety in the town hall.  DelVecchio is said to have met with the resident shortly after the meeting and relayed the testimony of several town employees who were in the meeting.  The resident then repeated the information to other residents.

“I filed my original complaint because I was told multiple times by multiple people that my colleague on the board was giving them information from our town board’s executive session. I can’t comment on the content but will say they knew exactly what was said and by whom,” said Mazzella. “I find it disgraceful to see someone working so hard against a town that he is supposed to serve.”

Pleasant Valley Ethics Board Chairman Rick Wilhelm issued a letter in May to Mazzella that said in part, “It is the position of the Ethics Board that this matter is not actionable at this time,” noting that Mazzella’s complaints were based on hearsay evidence, making him ineligible to be the complainant in the matter.

DelVecchio called the two complaints “juvenile political games.”

At a recent town board meeting, the lawmakers voted unanimously to hire an independent investigator to examine five complaints of workplace violence against DelVecchio.