Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver today announced the appointments of Patrick Bulgaro, Marvin Jacob and Ellen Yaroshefsky to the Joint Commission on Public Ethics (JCOPE).
JCOPE, which was established by the Public Integrity Reform Act of 2011, is an independent body responsible for overseeing and investigating allegations of ethics violations in state government. This new ethics panel became operational on December 11, 2011, replacing the Commission on Public Integrity.
"Pat Bulgaro, Marvin Jacob and Ellen Yaroshefsky are accomplished and principled and have distinguished themselves among their peers as individuals who uphold the highest standards of probity, which qualifies them to serve on the Joint Commission on Public Ethics," said Speaker Silver.
The 14-member commission is comprised of three appointments each from the Senate Majority Leader and Speaker of the Assembly, one each from the minority leaders of both houses and six appointments jointly from the governor and lieutenant governor.
The governor will appoint the chair from among the commission members.
Bulgaro has more than 25 years of state government experience, serving at the highest levels of several state agencies, including the Department of Taxation and Finance and the Division of the Budget where he served as director under former Governor Mario Cuomo.
He also served as President and Executive Director of the Center for the Disabled and on the New York State Temporary Commission on Lobbying as an appointee of Speaker Silver. During his distinguished public service career, Bulgaro was awarded the Governor Charles Evans Hughes Award for "outstanding career achievement."
Jacob, a retired attorney, was a partner in the Business and Finance & Restructuring Department of Weil, Gotshal & Manges, where he handled matters before the bankruptcy courts and federal district and appellate courts.
He has corporate bankruptcy litigation experience, serving such institutional clients as General Electric Capital Corporation and Credit Suisse First Boston. From 1964 to 1979, Mr. Jacob served as the Associate Regional Administrator, New York Regional Office, U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. He has authored several published articles on bankruptcy. In 2010, the Speaker appointed Jacob to the task force that oversees the implementation of the Public Authorities Reform Act of 2009.
Yaroshefsky is currently a law professor at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, co-executive director of the Jacob Burns Ethics Center in the Practice of Law, and a former adjunct professor at Fordham Law School.
She is an experienced attorney specializing in defense and civil rights litigation, and is a member of several attorney ethics review organizations, including the American Bar Association's Ethics, Gideon and Professionalism Committee; the New York State Bar Association's Committee on Standards of Attorney Conduct; and the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers Ethics Advisory Committee.
Under the Public Integrity Reform Act 2011, which was sponsored by Silver, each member of the JCOPE will be appointed to serve a five year term.
During their terms on JOCPE, members are prohibited from soliciting campaign contributions for election to the offices of governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general, state comptroller or to the senate and assembly.
Silver noted that commission members can not be or have been, within the last three years, a lobbyist, state legislator, statewide elected official, agency commissioner or political party chair. Individuals who are legislative and state employees are also barred from serving unless they have not been employed by the state for 12 months.