NY CITY COUNCIL TAKES DISCIPLINARY ACTION AGAINST COUNCILMEMBER ANDY KING FOR VIOLATING COUNCIL RULES

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[New York City Council\ Councilmember Andy King]
Council Member Steven Matteo: “Today’s vote is solemn and difficult. But we should remember that we are only here because courageous witnesses and complainants came forward and cooperated with this Council to help us get to this place of holding an elected official accountable for misconduct. They reminded us to never lose sight of the great and serious responsibility we all bear to make the Council a safe place to work."
Photo: Wikimedia Commons and Facebook

The New York City Council Monday voted on disciplinary actions against Council Member Andy King.

The resolution, which calls for a 30-day suspension, a $15,000 fine and an independent monitor, is the result of months of investigation, meetings, hearings and deliberations on the allegations. These proposed disciplinary actions are unprecedented – no member in the modern history of the Council has ever faced such a high fine, long suspension or independent oversight of the district office.

The Bronx Council Member is charged with violating the Council’s Equal Employment Opportunity Policy, Council Rules and the City Charter’s Conflicts of Interest Laws. The Committee substantiated claims against Council Member King with overwhelming evidence, including allegations that he intimidated and retaliated against staff who came forward with charges.

This is Council Member King’s second time before the Standards and Ethics Committee. In 2017, he was found to have violated the Council’s EEO Policy.

“In order to preserve the integrity and reputation of the Council, this legislative body must do everything it can to hold members accountable when they are charged with wrongdoing. I applaud the work of the Standards and Ethics Committee in its comprehensive and thoughtful investigation of Council Member King’s actions,” said Speaker Corey Johnson. “The action we are taking today is unprecedented in the history of the modern New York City Council.”

“Today’s vote is solemn and difficult. But we should remember that we are only here because courageous witnesses and complainants came forward and cooperated with this Council to help us get to this place of holding an elected official accountable for misconduct. They reminded us to never lose sight of the great and serious responsibility we all bear to make the Council a safe place to work and that this Council is only as good, and effective, and worthy of its role in this City, as its essential parts,” said Council Member Steven Matteo.

Preconsidered Res. 1138, by the Committee on Standards and Ethics, would adopt the resolution of the Superseding Charges brought against Council Member Andy King. The charges are as follows:

(1) Council Member King shall be suspended, without pay, for a period of 30 days, to commence immediately upon passage and adoption of this Resolution.

(2) Council Member King shall be removed from all committee assignments, including any Committee Chairs, effective immediately.

(3) Council Member King shall not Chair any committee for the duration of his term, and may reapply for membership on a committee one year after adoption of this Resolution. For the remainder of Council Member King’s term in office, Council Member King’s Offices shall be subject to a Monitor designated by the Chair of the Committee, with approval by the Council’s Office of the General Counsel (“OGC”), in order to ensure that staff in Council Member King’s Offices (“King staff”) are appropriately managed in accordance with Council Rules and Council Policy.

(4) In fulfillment of the foregoing responsibility, which may be amended by the OGC at any time, and in conformity with this Resolution, the Monitor shall be permitted to engage in the following conduct in the manner the Monitor deems most effective:

* Review and approve of all hiring, firing, and other employment status decisions for members of King staff;

* Have full access to Council Member King and King staff Council email accounts;

* Attend King staff meetings, none of which shall be held at Council Member King’s residence, and require pre-approval of any off-site staff meetings; and

* Hold regular meetings with King staff, at an interval to be determined by the Monitor, outside the presence of Council Member King.

(5) Council Member King shall not allow Staff to use their personal vehicles for Council purposes without adequate reimbursement for same, which reimbursement process shall be approved by the monitor and OGC. This restriction on use of personal vehicles includes driving Council Member King to/from events and/or appearances.

(6) Council Member King shall ensure that Neva Shillingford-King is prohibited from giving directions to King staff, attending staff meetings, and using Council resources for any personal or non-Council related business.

(7) Any current King staff member who Council Member King has retaliated against may return to work at Council Member King’s Offices and have their position and/or responsibilities restored.

(8) Council Member King shall complete appropriate training, to be determined by the OGC and at Council Member King’s expense, no later than March 1, 2020.

(9) Council Member King shall pay a fine of $15,000. While a reasonable payment schedule may be arranged at the OGC’s discretion, failure by Council Member King to pay according to said payment schedule may result in the disciplinary proceeding being reopened.

(10) Failure by Council Member King to adequately comply with any provision of this Resolution, including full cooperation with the work and directives of the Monitor, may result in reopening of the disciplinary proceeding.

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