August 30, 2012

JOINT COMMISSION POSTS NAMES OF CANDIDATES WHO FAILED TO DISCLOSE

The Joint Commission on Public Ethics today announced the public posting on its web site of the names of candidates for State Senate and Assembly who have failed to file a financial disclosure statement as required by law. Candidates for statewide elected office or for seats in the Legislature must file a financial disclosure statement within ten days of certain election petition and nominating deadlines, all within recent weeks.

Under New York State Public Officer's Law, the Joint Commission must identify and publish the names of candidates who have not timely filed. Individuals already in office were required to file Financial Disclosure Statements prior to the May 15, 2012 deadline.

The Financial Disclosure Statement is an annual disclosure of the financial holdings and associations of tens of thousands of State employees and elected State officials, and are available for public inspection. The Financial Disclosure Statements require disclosure of outside employment and income, investments, certain financial liabilities, certain political activities and the receipt of various forms of gifts, among other items.

Joint Commission Executive Director Ellen Biben said, "Financial Disclosure Statements are important tools for the promotion of transparency and accountability amongst those who serve the public and those seeking election to public office. The Joint Commission will continue to use its powers and jurisdiction to ensure compliance with State ethics laws."

The Joint Commission has worked closely with the state and local boards of elections and the Legislative Ethics Commission to identify the names of candidates required to file disclosure statements and ensure compliance.

Anyone who knowingly and willfully fails to file an annual statement of financial disclosure may be subject to a civil penalty of up to $40,000.

The list of delinquent filers is available here at the Commission's website.