New-minted Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie has named a panel to conduct a national search for an executive director of a new Office of Ethics and Compliance.
The committee includes Republican Janet Duprey, a member of the chamber’s Ethics and Guidance Committee, and include others with law enforcement or ethics experience: former federal prosecutor Todd D. Kaminsky (whose analysis of the complaint against Sheldon Silver helped convince a key bloc of the chamber’s more recently elected members to turn against his leadership), Bill Magnarelli (a former chair of the Ethics Committee), Shelley Mayer (who worked in the state AG’s office before she became counsel to the snakebit 2009-10 Senate Democratic Majority), Philip Ramos (a former Suffolk County detective) and Michele Titus (another AG vet with experience in the Integrity Bureau at the Queens County DA’s office).
“The door is wide open for real change in the State Assembly to make this institution more open, transparent and accountable to the citizens of this State,” Heastie said in a statement. “In order to accomplish this, I have appointed a diverse group of members from this body to conduct a comprehensive search to identify national experts in the area of ethics and governance. Residents of this great state rightly expect a government that is honest and beyond reproach and this new office will work to ensure that their elected representatives are living up to the highest ethical standards.”
Heastie will select a director from a list of nominees prepared by the panel.
Assemblymember Phil Ramos said “As a former law enforcement officer, I know firsthand how important it is to have the trust of the people you serve. We are chosen by our constituents to represent their needs and their voices here in state government and I know that they are looking to us now, more than ever, to prove that we are here to serve our communities, not ourselves. I am proud to join our new leader, Speaker Heastie, as we take the first steps in a new direction toward an honorable and dignified future for our state.”