Rochester, New York — March 13, 2014. Democrats in the Monroe County Legislature have introduced legislation that would prohibit county officers or employees from working for a Local Development Corporation (LDC) or any LDC contractor or subcontractor for two years after leaving county employment. The legislation was prompted by the steady stream of former county officials who have left county employment to work for LDCs and their contractors, including a former county official currently under indictment.
“This legislation would go a long way toward restoring public confidence in county operations,” Legislator Cindy Kaleh (D-Rochester), the proposal’s sponsor, said. “Under existing law, county employees are prohibited from soliciting or accepting private employment that creates a conflict with or impairs the proper discharge of their duties. We are deeply troubled that several former county employees created at least an appearance of a conflict of interest when they left county employment and immediately began working for an LDC or one of their contractors."
Since the current administration took office, at least three high-ranking county officials—the former Deputy County Executive, Chief Financial Officer and Chief Technology Officer—have left county employment to take positions with LDCs or their contractors. Most alarmingly, the former Chief Technology Officer resigned county employment and almost immediately began working for an LDC subcontractor, despite the fact that the former officer is under indictment for allegations of misconduct related to the very same LDC he now provides services to.
“When county officials—especially those officials with a responsibility to oversee LDCs—leave county employment to work for the LDC they were overseeing, it creates a strong appearance that they may have conflicting interests,” Legislator Paul Haney (D-Rochester) said. “This proposal would establish a mandatory cooling off period which would help restore the public’s confidence that county officers are acting in the public interest and not in the interest of their future employment prospects.”