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June 21, 2021

(BINGHAMTON, N.Y.) — Mayoral candidate and Deputy Mayor Jared M. Kraham on Monday announced comprehensive ethics reform legislation he will introduce before Binghamton City Council, the first major reform of the City’s ethics laws in more than 50 years.

“These reforms are based on years of experience in local government — knowing how it operates and how, as public servants, we can be more accountable to taxpayers and residents,” said Kraham. “The law will provide new transparency regarding firms seeking City approvals, mandates annual ethics training for City officials, bans nepotism and the revolving door, and ensures City Hall employees are serving the public, not a political party. I’m confident this ethics reform package will receive bipartisan support.”

Kraham’s ethics reform package amends Chapter 59, Code of Ethics, of the City of Binghamton charter in several ways, including:

Restrictions on Political Activities For City Officials — Prohibiting management-appointed positions from serving as officers of any political party or political organization or serving as members of any political party committee. This prohibition covers, for example, serving as a political party district leader or a member of a national political party committee.

Mandatory Annual Ethics Training For City Officials — Mandating annual ethics training for elected officials, members of municipal boards and policymakers. Training may be provided by the New York Conference of Mayors, New York State Bar Association or applicable municipal association.

Ban On Revolving Door — Prohibiting City officers or employees from appearing or practicing before the City, except on his or her own behalf, or receiving compensation for working on any matter before the municipality, for a period of one year after the termination of his or her service or employment.

Campaign Finance Disclosure Compliance — Requiring each candidate for elected office in the City of Binghamton, or their authorized committees, to report campaign finance disclosures to the State Board of Elections, per the filing calendar.

Designation of Public Integrity Officer — Authorizing the Mayor of the City of Binghamton to designate an attorney in the Office of Corporation Counsel to serve as the City’s Public Integrity Officer, to whom ethics complaints may be made and who may investigate any complaints. The Public Integrity Officer may also be a resource for City officers and employees seeking ethics advice.

Disclosure of Private Entities Appearing Before Public Boards — Requiring applicants before public boards or commissions (i.e., Planning Commission, Zoning Board of Appeals, Commission on Architecture and Urban Design, Traffic Board, City Council, etc.) that are Corporations or LLCs to disclose the identity of City officers or employees who are direct or indirect owners of the firm. This provision also includes sale of City-owned real property or purchase of real property by the City.

Disclosure of City Employees Appearing Before Public Boards — Requiring any City officer or municipal employee to report to the Office of Corporation Counsel any appearance before a City board or commissions on behalf of himself or herself, his or her outside employer or business, or a member of his or her household. The board or commission shall be advised on record if an applicant is a City officer or employee.

Nepotism — Banning City employees from participating in any decision to hire, promote, discipline, or discharge a relative.

Proof of Residency for Elected Officials — Requiring elected City officials on an annual basis to affirm and provide proof of residency in their respective district to the City Clerk.

Jared M. Kraham Announces City Ethics Reform Legislation: Press
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