September 9, 2020
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Albany, NY

JCOPE Settles Ethics Law Violations with Former Executive Director of Committee on Open Government  

JCOPE Settles Ethics Law Violations with Former Executive Director of Committee on Open Government  
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Admitted Inappropriate Conduct and Inappropriate Use of State Computers  

The Joint Commission on Public Ethics (“Commission”) today announced that it has reached a settlement agreement with former Committee on Open Government Executive Director Robert Freeman in connection with allegations that he violated State ethics laws through his sexually inappropriate conduct during interactions with colleagues and members of the media, as well as for his misuse of State resources during his time on the job.  

As part of the settlement, Freeman, who served in his position from 1976 until his termination in 2019, agreed to pay $15,000 to settle violations of two sections of Public Officers Law § 74. Freeman admitted that his conduct with women during official meetings and other interactions, as well as his use of a State computer to view sexual images, constituted an abuse of his official position and a violation of the Public Officers Law.

This case was referred to the Commission by the Office of the Inspector General following its own investigation and report.   

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The Communications and Public Information Office is the point of contact for the public and members of the press with questions about JCOPE's mission and to request access to records such as the financial disclosure statements filed by state officials and employees, the statewide elected officials, members of the Legislature and legislative employees. 

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New York State

Joint Commission on Public Ethics

540 Broadway

Albany, NY 12207