The New York State Joint Commission on Public Ethics (“Commission”) today announced that it has named Seth H. Agata as its new executive director.
Mr. Agata has more than 30 years of legal experience in government and the private sector. He previously served as a counsel to the Legislature and the Executive, prosecuted criminal cases as an Assistant District Attorney, and represented private parties in a broad range of litigation matters.
“Seth Agata is a tremendous choice for Executive Director of the Commission,” said Commission Chair Daniel J. Horwitz. “He brings a wealth of knowledge, experience, and integrity to the position.”
Agata currently serves as Chair of the state’s Public Employment Relations Board. Prior to that, he worked in a number of positions in government, including as Acting Counsel and First Assistant Counsel to the Governor, Assistant Secretary for Program and Policy and Senior Associate Counsel in the office of Counsel to the Majority of the New York State Assembly, Counsel for Investigations in the Office of the New York State Comptroller, and an Assistant District Attorney in Columbia County. Mr. Agata has also worked as an attorney in private practice and has also co-authored a book on the history of the New York Court of Appeals. He received both his undergraduate and law degrees from Cornell University.
The Commission’s Executive Director reports to the 14 Commissioners, six of whom are appointed by the Governor and Lieutenant Governor and eight of whom are appointed by the leaders of the Legislature. The Commission’s members are evenly split among the two major parties. Executive Director Agata’s appointment was supported by Commissioners representing both major political parties in both the Legislative and Executive branches of New York State government, as required. Executive Director Agata’s appointment follows a nationwide recruitment effort that included placing advertisements in top legal publications and newspapers, which resulted in JCOPE receiving and reviewing more than 200 resumes.