The following is a sampling of the many inaccuracies that were included in the Grand Jury report:
1) Inaccuracy: The County Executive inappropriately failed to file a county financial disclosure form and was given a special favor by the Suffolk County Ethics Commission “allowing” him to file the state financial disclosure form instead.
2) Inaccuracy: The state form is less extensive and seeks less information than the county form (media outlets suggested that there was an attempt to conceal information).
Reality: The state form seeks the same basic information as that on the county form but asks far more questions.
Ethics experts have noted that the county form asks so many fewer questions that it was, at all relevant times, not in conformance with state law. (For example, the county form did not ask about travel reimbursement, future contracts, information regarding emancipated children, positions in political parties, gifts, or transfers under market value.) The legislature had to change the county law to add these questions last year.
3) Inaccuracy: The County Executive sought ethics opinions about Legislator Ed Romaine and Chief Deputy Paul Sabatino for political reasons.
4) Inaccuracy: The ethics commissioners were unduly influenced by the County Executive.
Reality: Both past and present ethics officials signed statements claiming there was never any pressure placed upon them by the Executive Branch as to how to vote on any matter.
Additionally, there was not a single, specific case cited in the report where a commissioner claimed the County Executive interfered with the process.
5) Inaccuracy: The Executive threatened legislators by obtaining their financial disclosure forms.
6) Inaccuracy: The County Executive Branch gave Judge Alfred Lama, the ethics director, special treatment to receive benefits to which he was not entitled.
7) Inaccuracy: Some media reports have created the false impression that my wife’s company received business inappropriately.
Reality: My wife’s company NEVER received a single contract from the County.
When an opportunity to bid on hospital work came about, there would be no reason she should not be able to since she was not contracting with the County. Nevertheless, she proactively sought an opinion from the Ethics Commission. The Commission, a majority of which was appointed in the previous administration, ruled unanimously that no conflict existed so long as she did not use my name – which she never did.