Friday, January 8, 2010

Democrats File Ethics Charge Against County Attorney

Officials of the Columbia County and Taghkanic Democratic Committees and other Democratic candidates and officials have filed an ethics complaint against Robert Fitzsimmons with the Columbia County Board of Ethics.

Fitzsimmons was Deputy County Attorney and is now County Attorney. He is also the Town Attorney for the Town of Taghkanic. 

The complaint alleges that Fitzsimmons, who as Deputy County Attorney represents the Board of Elections in the lawsuit initiated by the Republican County Chair Greg Fingar, violated provisions of the County Ethics Code when, as attorney for the Town of Taghkanic, when he involved himself in the drafting of a resolution criticizing his own client, the Columbia County Board of Elections (BOE). In addition that he has not exercised good professional judgment solely for the benefit of his client (BOE), and that he has been overly influenced by members of the Republican Party which has compromised his loyalty and his judgment to the BOE.

The complaint calls for “a full ethics investigation into the events that let up to this situation and the conduct of Attorney Fitzsimmons. We also request a more broad inquiry into the propriety of county attorneys representing both county agencies and individual towns and villages."

On Tuesday January 5th, Fitzsimmons was appointed Columbia County Attorney over the objections of Hudson Supervisor William Hughes. Before casting his vote, Hughes said that “given the gravity of the accusations against Fitzsimmons,” Daniel Tuczinski should continue in the position of County Attorney “until things are resolved.”

For more info:
The Full Complaint and the Columbia County Ethics Policy
See also: Taghkanic Democrats

Read more: The Columbia Paper and Register-Star