Legislator Barnhart’s Ethics Reform Bill Unanimously Passes

Monroe County Legislator Rachel Barnhart’s bill to reform the Monroe County Code of Ethics has unanimously passed the Legislature. 

Legislator Barnhart introduced the long-stalled measure, which is similar to a bill that did not pass last cycle, but added some important provisions.

The reforms enacted in this legislation would do the following:

  • Make sexual harassment conduct that is prohibited.
  • Require high-ranking officers to receive approval for outside employment.
  • Require officials to recuse themselves in writing from matters in which they have a conflict.
  • Close the revolving door of officers leaving County employment.
  • Ban coercion of employees and use of County resources for political campaigns.

A measure to prohibit candidates from putting their images on taxpayer-funded mailings and ads before elections was removed during the committee process over concerns about clarity. Legislator Barnhart will work to reintroduce a ban on taxpayer-funded mailings featuring politicians that are sent close to elections.

“This legislation is long overdue, and the least we could do. These reforms bring Monroe County closer to the standards enacted in many other counties in New York State,” said Legislator Barnhart. “A strong ethics culture is vital to public trust.”

Legislator Barnhart submitted the Candidate Disclosure Act, which would require candidates for legislature and county executive to disclosure their work, education and military histories.