Board of Ethics convenes

Shelton’s Board of Ethics met Jan. 5 to discuss the draft of the Code of Ethics section within the city’s ordinance, which began in 2007. The board also discussed obtaining training on ethics from the State of Connecticut.

Board Chairman Matthew McGorty said the proposed draft of the ordinance failed in the past because it was “overreaching.” He said he reviewed it once along with the current ordinance, but would need to review the draft a few more time because it is “comprehensive” and “technical.”

McGorty said at the next meeting the board would need to review the draft together. Vice Chair Ken Olin agreed, stating they should all read it and omit things that should be changed.

Board member William McCart said the only thing he saw off-hand was that the Board of Ethics shall be composed of three members, saying “Aren’t we five?”

According to the city ordinance, the 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.

The new Board of Ethics consist of Thomas McGorty (R), William “Bill” McCart (unaffiliated), Dr. Jeff Forte (D), Ken Olin (R) and Frank Carrol (D). Three new members were added in October 2016 after the board disbanded in 2013. Carrol was not present for the Board’s Oct. 13 or Jan. 5 meeting.

Vice Chair Olin also said the committee should bring someone in to train the board members.

“I mean, just four guys trying to figure out something; we really don’t know how it works”, Olin said.

Olin and Frank Carrol are from the previous board, which disbanded in 2013. Former Board Chair John Bashar said at the Oct. meeting that when he was Chairman, the board was in the process of revising the city ordinance and implementing training/seminars for city officials to better educated them on conflicts of interest and other matters that would cause a need for the Board of Ethics to get involved.

Chairman McGorty said he wants to map the process for procedures. During public comment, Shelton resident Judson Crawford reminded the Board of Ethics that they had to write and submit their budget for 2017/2018. He told the board that they currently have $600 that has not been spent for the current fiscal year and they have until June 30 to use the money, if needed to for expenditures.

“It is probably not an allocation that gets used unless there are hearings that might incur expenses,” said Dr. Forte.

McGorty said the board will put together a small budget, review it and submit it before February. The next committee meeting will be April 6 in City Hall. The Board of Ethics meetings will be held the first Thursday of every quarter and additional meetings if needed.