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Town of Wellsville Ethics Committee to release findings from investigation

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By JOHN ANDERSON

A two-hour, closed door meeting of the Town of Wellsville Ethics Committee concluded with the members coming up with a recommendation for the next town meeting.

Deputy Town Supervisor Patricia Graves, a member of the ethics committee, said “The Wellsville town board of ethics met in executive  session to review materials presented.

 The board of ethics will be advising the town board on their findings and recommendations at the next scheduled town board meeting, Wed., Dec 29 at 7 p.m., 2021.”

Graves said the board went by the local law and bylaws establishing an ethics board from Dec. 10, 1970.

The open session of the ethics committee lasted 4 minutes and 21 seconds on Wednesday, as Town Attorney Mike Finn asked an elected official on the committee to make a motion to go into executive session “to discuss a personnel matter that could involve employee discipline and or criminal prosecution.”

Read the ethics bylaws for the town:

The ethics board is comprised of Mark Johnson, Graves, Town Councilman Jesse Case, former Wellsville mayor Sue Goetschius, Don Stevens and Ron Lanphier.

When asked if the findings of the committee will be read in open session, Graves said, “It’s up to the board. It depends if there will be disciplinary measures.”

This morning, Wellsville Town Clerk Danielle Osgood sent out a press release for a special meeting on Dec. 29. The reason was “organizational” and did not mention the ethics committee. The press release said:

Please post per request of the Town Supervisor Shad Alsworth. Thank you. Agenda will be sent by the end of the day:

LEGAL NOTICE OF ORGANIZATIONAL MEETING: 

NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that a special meeting will be held by the Wellsville Town Board, Allegany County, State of New York at the Town Office, at the Wellsville Municipal Airport in said Town December 29, 2021 at 7:00 PM. 

Danielle Osgood, Town Clerk   

BY ORDER OF THE TOWN BOARD


The ethics committee meeting took place as ethics committee member Barb Hetzel was in possession of pages of copies of text messages for the ethics committee to look at. Finn and the board said they had not seen the messages prior to the meeting. Finn thumbed through all the pages for one minute and 38 seconds and then announced, “Being that is presently an open meeting involving two town of Wellsville board members (Graves and Jesse Case), I think that it would be appropriate for Patty and or Jesse to make a motion to go into executive session to discuss a personnel matter that could involve employee discipline and or criminal prosecution.”

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