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How ethics probe will work

Rochester, N.Y. - Mayor Lovely Warren said she welcomes the investigation into the hiring of her uncle, Reggie Hill, as part of her security team. She said while she didnt think it violated city ethics or the anti-nepotism policy, she will comply with whatever the ethics board decides.

That board is made up of seven members. Five are city residents with no ties to government. The other two include a city department head and someone from city council.

The board doesnt have enforcement power, but issues opinions and decisions to guide city employees on ethical matters. Board Member Carl Steinbrenner said this is the first time in his three year tenure the board would investigate an alleged violation by the mayor. Most other issues involved lower level city employees who have questions about things that could potentially violate city policy.

Steinbrenner said the board usually meets in executive session but that all the decisions are public and are often reached in one session.

He said the last time the current board met was a year ago. Steinbrenner is an attorney but said he couldnt discuss the alleged violation involving the hiring of Mayor Lovely Warrens uncle as part of her security team. He said the board hasnt been provided any information yet. But Steinbrenner said the board plays a valuable role in situations like this and can offer advice and opinions to the mayor and other city leaders.

The ethics board cannot begin the probe until two vacancies on the board are filled. That is expected to happen at the end of the month.

Warren said she will comply with whatever the board decides and looks forward to putting this issue behind her. She said it is a distraction for her, her team and city residents.

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Washington Times