For several weeks, Suffolk County Executive Steve Levy has maintained he is not required to file a county financial disclosure form because he has filled out, and filed with the county, a New York State financial disclosure form. Some experts agree with him; other experts say county law requires that he fill out the more extensive county form as required for approximately 650 county employees. By Tuesday, his office said he had filed the county forms through 2009.
Tied to this issue of the disclosure forms is another matter: Is Levy required to disclose that court reporting firms owned by his wife, Colleen West, do work for businesses receiving millions in taxpayer dollars from Suffolk County? Levy says his wife's work with these businesses does not represent a conflict of interest and need not be disclosed; some ethics experts say he must disclose that work.
For Levy, the stakes over filing the forms have risen dramatically: The Suffolk district attorney's office last month issued a subpoena to the Ethics Commission and clerk of the county legislature for county disclosure records. Wednesday, a committee of the legislature interviewed candidates for special counsel and discussed seeking subpoena power for the committee.