The New York State Joint Commission on Public Ethics (Commission) today announced that it has reached a settlement agreement with a former employee of the State of New York Mortgage Agency (SONYMA) for abusing her official position.
Theresa Do agreed to pay a $1500 fine to settle allegations resulting from the Commission’s investigation, which found that she prepared four letters on official SONYMA letterhead in regard to matters that were not related to official agency business. Ms. Do attempted to financially benefit herself and others through these letters and to unduly influence private landlord and tenant rent disputes.
“State employees serve the public’s interest, not their own,” said General Counsel Monica J. Stamm, “Public officials who abuse their positions for personal gain will be held accountable.”
Do resigned in January 2015 after almost six years as a Program Specialist for SONYMA, which is part of New York State Homes & Community Renewal (“NYSHCR”). NYSHCR conducted the initial investigation in conjunction with the Office of the Inspector General; they later referred the matter to the Commission.
Do violated Public Officers Law §74(3)(d), which provides that no officer or employee of a State agency should use his or her official position to secure unwarranted privileges for him or herself or others.