Over the past several months, the New York State Commission on Ethics and Lobbying in Government (“COELG”), formerly known as the Joint Commission on Public Ethics (“JCOPE”), released numerous emergency rulemakings aimed at expanding and refining the commission’s investigative and enforcement powers. The emergency rulemaking took effect April 27, 2023.

The emergency rulemaking proposes to add a new section to Part 941 of Title 19 of the Laws of New York to delegate power and authority by majority vote to the Executive Director of COELG to administer oaths and affirmations, subpoena witnesses, compel attendance and testimony, and require the production of records to COELG that the executive director deems relevant or material. Power may be delegated when COELG or its staff conduct an investigation, or when the commission elevates a preliminary review of a complaint or referral received.

Pursuant to the emergency rulemaking, the delegation of powers may be general, or limited to more specific matters. The emergency rulemaking also sets forth a proposal that any hearing officer presiding at a COELG adjudicatory hearing must be an independent arbitrator.

If you have any questions about the matters in this legal alert or related matters, please contact attorney Jared A. Kasschau at (516) 880-8106 and jkasschau@harrisbeach.com or the Harris Beach attorney with whom you most frequently work.

This alert does not purport to be a substitute for advice of counsel on specific matters.

Harris Beach has offices throughout New York state, including Albany, Buffalo, Ithaca, Long Island, New York City, Rochester, Saratoga Springs, Syracuse and White Plains, as well as Washington D.C., New Haven, Connecticut and Newark, New Jersey.