CPI Charges Former DEC Employee with Violating Ethics Law

CPI Charges Former DEC Employee with Violating Ethics Law

CONTACT: Walter C. Ayres

ALBANY — The State Commission on Public Integrity has charged a former employee of the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) with violating the State Code of Ethics by allegedly soliciting the U.S. Department of Energy to fund a post-employment position for himself at the Knolls Atomic Power Laboratory (KAPL). DOE holds a license from DEC for its operations at KAPL.

Clifton VanGuilder, a former Environmental Engineer III, allegedly sought an illegal gift and an unwarranted privilege by asking DOE to fund the position for him. He also is charged with acting in a way that would lead to the impression that he was violating his public trust. Specifically, Mr. VanGuilder is charged with violating Public Officers Law Sections 73(5) and 74(3)(d), (f) and (h).

Pursuant to Executive Law §94(12)(b), a Notice of Reasonable Cause alleges a violation of the law, but is not a finding that the alleged violation occurred. Mr. VanGuilder faces a fine of $40,000 for the gift violation and $10,000 for the Code of Ethics violations.

The matter was referred to the Commission by the Department of Environmental Conservation. Barry Ginsberg, Executive Director of the Commission, thanked DEC for its assistance throughout the course of the investigation.

The Notice is available on-line at http://www.nyintegrity.org/enforcement/norc.html.