Fulton County

Gloversville ethics board cites mayor over conduct

Meeting was slated before mayor's arrest this week on misconduct, other charges
Gloversville Mayor Dayton King arrives for a court appearance on Dec. 20, 2017.
PHOTOGRAPHER:
Gloversville Mayor Dayton King arrives for a court appearance on Dec. 20, 2017.

GLOVERSVILLE — The city’s ethics board on Wednesday “admonished and cautioned” Mayor Dayton King for a 2017 ethics code violation, a vote that came hours after King was arrested on a new charge of official misconduct.

The ethics board’s unanimous decision, which prompts a formal recommendation that the Common Council admonish the mayor, takes King to task for releasing private information about his opponent during a mayoral debate last year – a violation of the city’s ethics code.

State police on Wednesday charged King with a felony count of falsifying business records and misdemeanor counts of official misconduct and petit larceny, charges that accuse him of misusing of the city’s postage meter.

State police said King used the meter at Gloversville City Hall for personal business after regular office hours. He allegedly used the meter to take less than $500 worth of postage for personal business and falsified the ledger that goes with the meter, troopers said.

State police spokeswoman trooper Kerra Burns said the case remains open.

The Gloversville ethics board meeting Wednesday night had been scheduled before King’s recent arrest, and the board did not discuss the new charges against him, said Helen Thompson, chair of the ethics board. She said King was invited to the meeting to present a defense, but he was not present.

The ethics charges stemmed from King’s actions last year, when he disclosed private personnel information about his mayoral opponent, Bill Rowback, who is a city firefighter, during a debate aired live over the radio.

The board agreed King violated a part of the ethics code that prohibits city officials from disclosing “confidential information acquired in the course of one’s official duties,” and using that information “for personal benefit or in any way adverse to the interests of the city.”

Thompson said King himself acknowledged the conduct in a formal apology he read at a City Council meeting last month. King read that apology as part of his plea agreement in the case, which originated as an official misconduct charge.

On Wednesday, Rowback promised to again run for mayor and said the new charges called into question King’s judgement and fitness to serve as mayor.

“In the position of mayor, you are held accountable for every action you take,” Rowback said. “You are held to a higher standard, and you are supposed to be a model for our residents and especially our youth.”

King did not respond to messages left on his personal phone and in the mayor’s office.

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