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Essex County names preliminary ethics board

The Essex County Board of Supervisors gave preliminary backing to its new ethics panel this week.

At Monday's regular meeting, supervisors approved a five-member committee with one alternate. The board will handle ethics complaints submitted in accordance with a new county law.

According to the Plattsburgh Press Republican, Chairman Randy Douglas said 27 applications were reviewed by a selection subcommittee.

The new ethics panel will include: Michael Orticelle of Saranac Lake; Ken Doyle of AuSable Forks; Phyllis Klein of Willsboro; Alexander Shumway of Ticonderoga/Putnam; and Frank Kearns of Jay.

James Herrman, a resident of Westport, will serve as the board's alternate.

Officials note the six appointees to the ethics committee have no connection to the county and are not related to any county employees.

According to the Press Republican, the panel will be able to assess ethics penalties following hearings. The board will investigate complaints and render decisions.

The Essex County Personnel and Administration Committee gave its unanimous support to the panel this week. The ethics board now awaits approval from the Ways & Means Committee next week and goes before the full board in April.

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