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New five-member ethics board named in Oyster Bay

Oyster Bay Town Supervisor Joseph Saladino, left, and

Oyster Bay Town Supervisor Joseph Saladino, left, and councilwoman Michele Johnson, right, swear in Alfred Constants III, center, onto the town's new ethics board, at the town's board meeting, Tuesday evening, Feb. 28, 2017. Photo Credit: Danielle Finkelstein

The Oyster Bay town board voted Tuesday night to appoint a new five-member ethics board, as part of what newly appointed Town Supervisor Joseph Saladino said was “sweeping reforms” undertaken since a new ethics code was adopted last year.

“We have put together a team of the best ethics board... [members] in the state of New York,” Saladino said following the vote.

The board is tasked with reviewing financial disclosure forms submitted by town officials, employees, and contractors. It will also review complaints filed by the public.

The move comes in the wake of the indictment and January resignation of former Oyster Bay Supervisor John Venditto on federal corruption charges.

Following Tuesday’s vote, Saladino swore in four of the five appointees—one was absent. The board members serve staggered terms so that a vacancy will be created every year. The positions are unpaid.

Last year’s ethics code revision mandated that no more than two people from a single political party could be appointed to the board.

Two Republicans, Alfred Constans III an attorney from Locust Valley and Robert Harrison, a financial industry manager from Syosset, were appointed to five and three years terms, respectively. Two members without party affiliation, Mary Sanchez, a specialist at a child care nonprofit from Syosset and Margaret Eaton a former commercial aviation manager from Hicksville were appointed to four and two year terms, respectively. Carolyn Mazzu Genovesi, a Democratic attorney from Glen Head was appointed to a one year term.

A committee consisting of Deputy Town Supervisor Gregory Carman, Town Special Counsel Thomas Sabellico, and Steven Leventhal, an attorney the Roslyn-based from Leventhal, Cursio, Mullaney and Sliney, who crafted the new ethics code adopted last year, selected the five new members from a pool of 24 who expressed interest, Saladino said in an interview.

He said the ethics board will hold its first meeting on March 13 and it will be open to the public. The town board also approved continuing a contract with Leventhal to serve as counsel to the ethics board.

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