Suffolk County Board of Ethics

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Advisory Opinion Overview

A “public servant” or a supervisor of a public servant may request an opinion from the Board with regard to all matters covered by the Suffolk County Code of Ethics (Part 1, Article 1 of Chapter 77 of the Suffolk County Code). “Public servant” means all officials, officers and employees of the County, both paid and unpaid. For the purpose of requesting an Advisory Opinion, a "public servant" includes a prospective or former public servant and supervisory officials.

*The Board will only issue Advisory Opinions for future conduct.

Advisory Opinion Procedure*

  1. Complete the Advisory Opinion Request form. All Advisory Opinion Requests must:
    • Be in writing.
    • Be signed by the requestor.
    • Identify all relevant facts and circumstances.
    • Be directed to the Executive Director or Chair of the Board.
  2. Submit the Advisory Opinion Request:
    BY MAIL: Suffolk County Board of Ethics
    300 Center Drive, Office N204
    Riverhead, New York 11901

*Full Advsory Opinion procedure link here.

What to Expect After Requesting an Advisory Opinion

  • Board staff will send an acknowledgement of receipt of the Request.
  • As part of its “fact-finding” the Board or the Board staff may ask the person seeking the Advisory Opinion to appear before the Board or to otherwise provide additional information in order to assist the Board in rendering an Opinion.
  • The Board will issue the Opinion within 45 days after it has completed a fact-finding. If the Board is unable to issue the Opinion within this 45 day period, the Board will notify the person who requested the Opinion. In any event, the Board must issue the Opinion no later 90 days after it has completed its fact-finding.
  • Pursuant to Board Resolution 004/2013, after the Board issues an Advisory Opinion, the person requesting the Opinion has 15 business days to file a request for reconsideration. The request for reconsideration must be supported by new material facts.
  • The Board may amend a previously issued Advisory Opinion after giving reasonable notice to the public servant that it is reconsidering the Opinion.

Confidentiality

Requests for Advisory Opinions are confidential, but the Board is required to make its Advisory Opinions public with redactions or deletions in order to prevent the disclosure of the identity of the public servant or any other involved party. With limited exceptions set forth in the law, testimony received or any other information obtained by a member of the Board or the staff of the Board in connection with the preparation of an Advisory Opinion is confidential and shall not be disclosed by any such individual to any person or entity outside the Board.