Alternates needed for Niskayuna Ethics Board before complaint can be heard

Resident and town board candidate Jason Moskowitz, left, filed an ethics complaint against town board member Denise Murphy McGraw, right

Resident and town board candidate Jason Moskowitz, left, filed an ethics complaint against town board member Denise Murphy McGraw, right

The Ethics Board won’t be able to discuss an ethics complaint filed against a Niskayuna town board member until the town has named alternates to the board.

Resident and town board candidate Jason Moskowitz filed an ethics complaint against Denise Murphy McGraw for her vote on a resolution in which the town hired her daughter as a town pool employee.

The matter hasn’t been settled yet because the Ethics Board only meets quarterly. On top of that, so many board members plan to recuse themselves from the matter that the remaining members will not have a quorum with which to make decisions.

Board president Rabbi Matthew Cutler said he has recused himself in the matter 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.

Cutler would not identify which board members plan to recuse themselves.

“I’m not really sure I’m allowed to say that because of the privacy of the board members,” Cutler said.

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

If LaFlamme and Cazer also recused themselves, it would leave only two voting members.

Cutler said the board will convene when alternates have been named, but when that will be is unclear.

The board voted unanimously Tuesday evening during its meeting to change the town code to allow alternates.

Three people will be named as alternates and the president of the board may also be called on to sit in if another member is unavailable for any reason, according to town documents.

Syed said an email blast was circulated in the summer seeking applicants.

“I believe we’ve received a few applicants already from people that are aware of what the process is, but again, officially I would imagine another email blast would be sent out for anyone that’s interested in serving as an alternate to send their resume,” she said.

It’s likely the alternates will be named at the town’s Oct. 21 meeting unless the board takes up the matter at its special Oct. 4 meeting.

Reporter Shenandoah Briere can be reached at 518-478-3320 or [email protected]

Categories: News, Schenectady County, Your Niskayuna


What a joke, the board controlled by the subject of the ethics violation, is going to kick the can down the road so that the issue is not addressed until after the election?? Wake up Niskayuna! This Town board has know for years that the “Ethics Board” was conflicted, all the members are friends and campaign contributors to the party boss and the subject of the violation. It just never ends, what a three ring circus – how many more scandals do we need to put up with? It’s about time this nonsense comes to an end.

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