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Ethics Board Decisions

Posted on: August 24, 2022

Ethics Opinion 222


XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX, has requested an opinion regarding the compatibility of his position as an elected official of the Town Board with the position of XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX is located within the boundaries of the XXXX District. 

XXXXXXXXX is the largest residential community on XXXXXXXXX, with approximately 600 single family homes and 100 co-op apartments. During the summer months, the population may reach 4,000 persons, with as few as 50 persons during the winter months.

XXXXXXXX has created the position of Community Manager. This is a new, paid position. The Community Manager will report directly to the President of XXXXXXX Board and work with the 14 Directors. 

The responsibilities of the Community Manager include administering decisions of the XXXXXXX Board, overseeing staff, maintaining records, overseeing finances, managing properties, emergency preparedness, and generally overseeing day-to-day operations of the XXXXXXXXX community.

Proposed duties will also include contact with relevant municipalities, such as New York State, Suffolk County and the Town of Brookhaven. 

XXXXXXXXXX and the XXXXXXXXX Board acknowledge that XXXXXXXXXXX can have no contact with any Town official or any Town employee, including aides in the Council’s Office, regarding any and all issues that many arise regarding XXXXXXXXX. XXXXXXXXXXXXX has indicated that there will be suitable XXXXXXX staff to interact on Town matters to avoid any conflicts of interest. It is recommended that a specific XXXXXXXX employee be designated as the liaison to the Town of Brookhaven.

Furthermore, while XXXXXXXXX, as the elected representative to the XXX District, may not have contact with XXXXXX or XXXXX staff on any matter, XXXX may contact Supervisor Romaine in his stead. 

The Board has expressed in deliberations a concern for potential direct conflicts of interest and for perceived conflicts of interest.


Pursuant to Town Code § 28-5(B)(2), provisions of this Chapter shall not prohibit a ministerial act. Based upon the job description for Community Manager provided by XXXXXXX, it is determined that most of the job responsibilities are ministerial, and in no way involve any matters involving the Town, or Town personnel.

Town Code § 28-5(A)(2)(b) states:

A. Code of Ethics for Town officers and employees.

(2) General prohibition. A Town officer or employee shall not use his or her official position or office, or take or fail to take any action, in a manner which he or she knows or has reason to know may result in a personal benefit, financial or otherwise, for any of the following persons:

(b) His or her outside employer or business

To avoid conflicts of interest, and also any perceived conflicts of interest, XXXXXXX shall comply with Town Code §28-5(A)(4) and recuse himself from acting on any matter regarding XXXX. XXXXXXXX shall further comply with Town Code §§28-5(A)(5), (6) and (7), and shall designate FIPPOA staff to handle all matters involving the Town. If these safeguards are in place, potential conflicts of interest can be avoided.

Therefore, XXXXXXXX accepting the position of Community Manager with XXXXXXXXX is not incompatible with his position as an elected official of the Town Board. 

In issuing this opinion, I have relied solely upon the facts and information presented. I have not undertaken an independent investigation, and therefore, this opinion is limited to the facts and information in the record. If material facts or information have not been disclosed or have been misinterpreted, this opinion is without force and effect.

Board Member Recusal Regarding Ethics Opinion #222

To the Committee-

I want to inform all of you that I will be recusing myself from discussion/deliberation on this matter. 

It has been brought to my attention, that due to a very spirited and public difference of opinion that I had with XXXXXXX on a project in his district involving the company I am employed by, he has expressed a concern about me being objective in this matter. 

Although his perception would be inaccurate, I will not bring any unnecessary attention or have this committee’s work called into question for any reason as I respect the work that we all do and the input we all bring to the table.

I would request that the meeting minutes will clearly document my recusal in the matter and it’s probably best that I do not attend that meeting if that is the only matter on the agenda. 

If my attendance is required for other matters, I will attend to address those matters and leave when this item comes up for discussion/decision.

Thank you for your understanding in this matter.

Bob Vecchio

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