Council To Take Up Financial Disclosure Bill Today
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Council members will debate legislation today that would significantly reduce the city’s financial disclosure requirements for public servants and private citizens who volunteer for public positions.
The legislation comes at the request of Mayor Bloomberg, who has said the current financial disclosure requirements could discourage New Yorkers who are not politicians from becoming involved in public service. Some advocacy groups and elected officials, however, have warned that the legislation might go too far by no longer allowing public servants to report the approximate range of their outside income.
The executive director of Citizens Union, Dick Dadey, said yesterday in an interview that while his organization largely supports the bill, “Our concern is that the current requirements for elected officials and high-ranking public officials will lessen in this effort to reform the entire process.”
Council Member Eric Gioia, who represents parts of Queens, said yesterday that questions of transparency are particularly relevant in light of the arrest last week of Assembly Member Anthony Seminerio on federal money laundering charges.
“I’m looking forward to the testimony,” Mr. Gioia said. “A lack of transparency fosters a bad environment that can allow conflicts of interest and corruption, so I’m wary of doing anything that requires that less disclosure.”