Oyster Bay’s town board has adopted a more stringent ethics code that adds restrictions and disclosure requirements.
The new code, which the town board approved at its Nov. 15 board meeting, expands the ethics board’s powers so that it can impose civil fines of up to $10,000 for violations.
The new code will replace a code last amended in 1990 and will take effect when it is accepted by the New York secretary of state.
Town officials and employees must recuse themselves from participating in most decisions and actions that may directly or indirectly benefit themselves. It also prohibits officials and employees from playing any role in the hiring, firing, promoting or disciplining of relatives.
Contractors, lessors and applicants for land-use actions including variances will now have to disclose any town employees and officials who have an interest in their contract, transaction or action sought.
The new code also prohibits town employees and officials from using their position to secure benefits for themselves, relatives, members of their household, clients or anyone who has given them loans or gifts greater than $75 during the previous year. The town’s ethics board will be required to produce an annual report summarizing its activities.
The code was written by attorney Steven Leventhal of Roslyn-based Leventhal, Cursio, Mullaney & Sliney LLP, who based it on Huntington’s code, which he helped craft.