Reaction to the ethics report

A file photo of Suffolk Legislature Presiding Officer

A file photo of Suffolk Legislature Presiding Officer William Lindsay, right, and County Executive Steve Levy. (March 13, 2007) Photo Credit: Jim Peppler

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Suffolk lawmakers and other area leaders react to the report prepared by the office of Suffolk District Attorney Thomas Spota:

"I'm appalled by it. I am absolutely appalled by it. All agencies are required to uphold ethics, the one most especially obligated to uphold the ethical standard is the ethics commission. And it's appalling that they conducted business as they did."

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-- Anton Borovina, first legal counsel to the Suffolk Ethics Commission


"Maybe I'm just being a skeptic, but if he [Levy] were sitting as the Democratic county executive, I don't know that we would have ever seen this [report]."

-- Craig Tortora, former Suffolk ethics commissioner

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"I believe in good government, and I still try to do that. People can still try to do the right thing."

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-- Former Deputy County Executive Ben Zwirn, who refused to deliver a threat to County Legis. Ed Romaine (R-Center Moriches)

"It's totally predictable. Any time you have an ethics agency dominated and controlled by political forces, you have a recipe for disaster."

-- David Grandeau, an attorney who specializes in ethics compliance and who directed the New York State Lobby Commission for 12 years

"Steve Levy crossed the line when he tried to use the power of government to destroy people who disagreed with him."

-- Former Chief Deputy County Executive Paul Sabatino

"I think the report speaks to the character of the former county executive. I think when people read the report, they'll be glad that he's no longer county executive."

-- Suffolk Legis. Ed Romaine, who spent more than $30,000 fighting an ethics complaint that resulted in no penalties

"We feel we've been exonerated a little bit with our cries that something was amiss."

Suffolk Presiding Officer William Lindsay (D-Holbrook), who led a special legislative committee investigating the ethics commission

"As a member of the special legislative committee that reviewed the policies and procedures of the ethics commission, I'm not at all surprised by the troubling conclusions of the grand jury report. I've spoken publicly in the past of what I perceived to be threats made by former county executive Levy in an attempt to influence votes by the legislature. The report is a total vindication of my position that Levy's actions were inappropriate and only fell short of criminality because other county officials refused to carry out his threats."

-- Former Legis. Jon Cooper (D-Lloyd Harbor)

Compiled by Paul LaRocco, Sandra Peddie and Will Van Sant

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