Preston and Marinich Propose Broome County Ethics Reform

By Adam Chick

October 22, 2012 Updated Oct 22, 2012 at 6:27 PM EDT

Binghamton, NY (WBNG Binghamton) New proposed legislation would ban the acceptance of gifts by county employees and officials.

Under current law county officials and employees can accept gifts valued up to $75.

The gifts could be a $74 bottle of wine or an expensive night on the town.

The current law requires that county employees self-report the gifts they may receive through biannual disclosure agreements.

If, for example, an employee received a gift valued at over $75 and reported it, they'd be in trouble.

The proposed legislation eliminates what Preston calls "unnecessary paperwork."

And as Legislature Chairman Jerry Marinich said, "Assuming they broke the law, would they really turn themselves in?"

"It's very important that people have trust in their government. When the Republican majority gained control last year we made it a priority to restore county resident's belief that government worked for them, not the other way around," said Marinich.

In addition, the proposed legislation would also more clearly spell out the responsibility of the County Ethics Board to review financial disclosures and issue ethics opinions.

Preston did add that she has never received a $74 bottle of wine.