New law clarifies rules forbidding county officials from receiving outside income

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The Onondaga County legislature made a move on Tuesday to make it clear, once and for all, that all five countywide elected officials are forbidden from receiving pay for outside work.

The new law clearly defines the county charter wording that requires the Sheriff, the District Attorney, the County Executive, the Clerk and the Comptroller devote all of their time to county government work in an effort to avoid even the appearance of a conflict of interest.

“We owe our allegiance to the public and they should not have even a hint of wondering who we’re serving when we do our jobs with taxpayer money,” said Onondaga County Executive Joanie Mahoney.

The County Executive stood alongside fellow Republican Bill Fitzpatrick and Democratic County Legislator Chris Ryan on Tuesday to call for the clarification in the county charter.

“I’ve been consistent in saying for me this isn’t about people, this is not about politics, for me it’s about policy,” Ryan said.

“I’m very sensitive when I’m out in the public, I don’t care what it is, I am the comptroller first and foremost but refereeing a basketball game or doing my best friend from high school’s bookwork while I’m watching an SU game on a Sunday in the cold of March I find that hard to believe that that is a conflict of interest,” said Onondaga County Comptroller Bob Antonacci.

The law will go into effect as soon as the County Executive signs it, and Mahoney says she will do that quickly.

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