Aldermen fill three vacant Ethics Board positions

The search for qualified and willing candidates to fill the three vacant spots on Shelton’s Ethics Board is officially over.

Alderman Eric McPherson announced at the latest Board of Aldermen meeting on Thursday Sept. 8 that Thomas McGorty (R), William “Bill” McCart (unaffiliated), and Dr. Jeff Forte (D) are the three candidates chosen to complete the city’s Board of Ethics.

Board of Aldermen President John Anglace said it was a lengthy process but he is confident in the three men’s abilities to do the job adequately.

“We were given names and we did reach out, we did talk to a lot of people, passed out literature so they could study it, people came back and refused,” said Anglace. “It was like going up one dead end street to another, that’s why it takes so much time. This is the way it came out and I think we got some pretty good appointments too.”

Each appointed board member can have a maximum of a three year term and no more than two member’s terms can expire in the same year. Mayor Mark Lauretti will appoint all members to this board or veto the Aldermen’s nominations. After the nominations are accepted by the mayor, the Ethics Board will have an organization meeting where they will determine each member’s role on the board.

Of the three members initially appointed, one shall be appointed for a term of three years, one for a term of two years and one for a term of one year.

Dr. Forte was appointed for one year, William “Bill”  MCcart and McGorty for three years.

Frank Carrol (D) and Ken Olin (R ) are the two other pre-existing members of the board. The city hasn’t had a functioning Board of Ethics in place since 2013.

According to the city ordinance, its board of ethics must be composed of three resident electors and at no time can more than one member be of the same political party. When one of the board member’s term is up, the mayor appoints a new member. Each member continues to serve until their successor is appointed and duties are as follows:

  • The board of ethics shall create and set “reasonable rules and regulations” for the administration of its proceedings. That set of rules and regulations must be made available at city hall in the clerk’s office to any elector of the city.
  • From there, any complaint of violations to the board’s set of rules will be investigated by the board members or with the help of the police department.

Any complaint received by the board of ethics must be in writing and signed by the individual making the complaint. This board of ethics then issues a written reply to the complaint. When the board is made aware of the violation in question, they privately notify the person the complaint was filed against.

“Upon receipt of the notice from the board of ethics, the party so notified that a complaint has been filed against him shall have a right to demand a public or private hearing by the board of ethics. In the event that the board of ethics decides that a hearing is required or the person whose conduct is being called into question demands a hearing, the hearing shall afford the person whose conduct is called into question the right to cross-examine anyone testifying against him or meet or answer any complaint of his conduct, and to present evidence in his own behalf. No hearing, however, may be conducted with less than two members of the board of ethics in attendance.”

The city ordinance also says if the board receives complaints against any officer, employee or official of the city, the investigation and disposition of which has been delegated to other boards or commissions created by the Charter.

“The board or commission to which such complaints are forwarded shall thereafter notify the board of ethics of the disposition made of such complaint, and the board of ethics shall review the disposition.”

The board of ethics ultimately reports to the board of aldermen its findings as to whether or not a violation of this article has occurred and together they come to a decision. All opinions, rulings, and recommendations of the board of ethics, whether advisory or the result of a complaint, shall be kept on file.

This article may be amended only by ordinance in conformity with the provisions of the Charter. Should any provision of this article conflict with any provisions of federal law or the state general statutes then the provisions of the federal law or the state general statutes shall prevail.

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