Fwd: COIB Settlements Announced
From: Katherine Miller <KMiller@coib.nyc.gov>
Date: Tue, Jan 7, 2020 at 11:52 AM
Subject: COIB Settlements Announced
To: Katherine Miller <KMiller@coib.nyc.gov>
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 7, 2020
CONTACT: Katherine Miller at email@example.com or (212) 437-0741
The New York City Conflicts of Interest Board (the "Board") announces three settlements.
Job-Seeking; Use of City Resources. A now-former Director of Mixed Income Programs in the New Construction Finance Division at the New York City Department of Housing Preservation & Development ("HPD") inquired about, interviewed for, and accepted a job with Ridgewood Bushwick Senior Citizen's Council, Inc. ("RSBCC") – now Riseboro Community Partnership – while he was a member of a review committee at HPD that was considering an application that included RBSCC as a member of the development team. The Director used his HPD email account to exchange 21 emails with RBSCC to pursue this job. The conflicts of interest law prohibits public servants from pursuing employment with a firm while they are involved with any of that firm's matters before the City (City Charter Section 2604(d)(1)) and from using City resources, such as their City email account, to pursue private employment (City Charter Section 2604(b)(2); Board Rules Section 1-13(b)). The Director paid a $4,000 fine to the Board. In determining the appropriate penalty, the Board considered that the Director's job-seeking violation took place over a short period of time during which his actions on the review committee were limited. The disposition is attached as "COIB Disposition (HPD)."
Gifts. Over the course of a year, the Chief Executive Officer of Coney Island Hospital and Senior Vice President for Post-Acute Care Operations at New York City Health + Hospitals accepted two gifts from PharmScript LLC – a lunch for herself and a golf outing for her live-in partner – that together totaled approximately $160 while she was working with PharmScript to lay the groundwork for Health + Hospitals to issue a Request for Proposal ("RFP") for the outsourcing of pharmaceutical services. After the RFP was issued, PharmScript submitted an application and was selected by Health + Hospitals to provide pharmacy services management. The conflicts of interest law prohibits public servants from accepting gifts totaling $50 or more within a twelve-month period from a firm that intends to become engaged in business dealings with the City (City Charter Section 2604(b)(5)). The Chief Executive Officer paid a $2,000 fine to the Board. In determining the appropriate penalty, the Board considered both the Chief Executive Officer's high-level position and the relatively modest value of the gifts. The disposition is attached as "COIB Disposition (Health + Hospitals)."
Use of City Time; Use of City Resources; Use of City Position; Superior-Subordinate Financial Relationship. At times when he was supposed to be performing work for the New York City Housing Authority ("NYCHA"), a NYCHA Assistant Property Maintenance Supervisor used his NYCHA computer and his NYCHA email account to edit and send the cover letter of one NYCHA Caretaker and the résumé of another NYCHA Caretaker, who each paid $50 to the Assistant Property Maintenance Supervisor for doing so. The Assistant Property Maintenance Supervisor was the supervisor of one of the Caretakers, and he had offered to review that Caretaker's cover letter. The conflicts of interest law prohibits public servants from using City time and City resources to perform paid non-City work (City Charter Section 2604(b)(2); Board Rules Sections 1-13(a) and 1-13(b)). The conflicts of interest law also prohibits supervisors from seeking and accepting paid work from their subordinates (City Charter Section 2604(b)(3)) and from entering into a financial relationship with their subordinates (City Charter Section 2604(b)(14)). In a joint settlement with the Board and NYCHA, the Assistant Property Maintenance Supervisor agreed to serve an eight-day suspension, valued at approximately $2,006, and a one-year probationary period. In determining the appropriate penalty, the Board considered the small amount of City time and City resources used and the small amount of money paid to the Assistant Property Maintenance Supervisor. The disposition is attached as "COIB Disposition (NYCHA)."
COIB is the independent, non-mayoral City agency charged with interpreting, administering, and enforcing the City's Conflicts of Interest Law, Annual Disclosure Law, Lobbyist Gift Law, Affiliated Not-for-Profits Law, and Legal Defense Trusts Law. The agency's jurisdiction extends to all City agencies and current and former officers, elected officials, and employees of the City, as well as lobbyists, not-for-profit organizations affiliated with elected officials or the agents of elected officials, and legal defense trusts with at least one public servant as a beneficiary and the trustees and beneficiaries of such trusts. Learn more about COIB and the law at nyc.gov/ethics.
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New York City Conflicts of Interest Board
2 Lafayette Street, Suite 1010
New York, NY 10007