Niskayuna

Niskayuna lays out process to have Ethics Board alternates

PHOTOGRAPHER:

NISKAYUNA – Town Board is expected to name two alternates by Oct. 21 to its Ethics Board. 

The appointments would come more than a month after the Ethics Board’s next meeting on Sept. 29, where they are expected to discuss a complaint filed against Town Board member Denise Murphy McGraw, who voted on a resolution that hired her daughter as a pool employee for the town. 

The Ethics Board only meets quarterly, said town attorney Paul Briggs in an email.

The move also comes as concerns were raised regarding some Ethics Board members’ relationships to McGraw and the person who filed the claim, Jason Moskowitz. 

Board Chairman Rabbi Matthew Cutler has already said he will abstain from voting on the complaint because he is the rabbi for the Moskowitz family and a friend of Lewis Moskowitz, Jason Moskowitz’s father, who also filed a complaint in 2018 against McGraw. 

Concerns were also raised about Jill LaFlamme’s and Tracy Cazer’s relationship with McGraw. Neither returned requests for comment on whether they would abstain. McGraw has insisted she does not socialize often with either person. 

A proposal to allow alternates on the Ethics Board will be presented at the Town Board’s Finance and Agenda meeting on July 13, Briggs said. After the board votes on that amendment, a public hearing will be called for on June 27 and held Aug. 24. The resolution to appoint two alternates will come before the board for a vote in September, with appointments made in October. 

Town Supervisor Yasmine Syed said every other board and committee has two alternates, so the decision to have two alternates for the Ethics Board is “just following past processes.” 

People can apply to become an alternate, she said, after which Briggs reviews the applications and makes a recommendation to the Town Board for approval. 

“He’s looking for things like if you’re an attorney or have experience with ethics,” she said. 

People can apply by emailing Briggs at [email protected].

Categories: News, Schenectady County

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