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Ethics issues dog Malta town board

Members of the former ethics committee were not re-appointed at the town's organizational meeting earlier this month, but were Chairman Peter Klotz, Douglas Young,

James Mitchell, Mary Law Powell, Kathleen Kalwa, Kevin King, attorney Richard Kupferman, and secretary Linda Deprey.

Past town council member Donna Gizzi questioned whether Sausville should be involved with setting up the new ethics committee at this time.

"Since this ethics issue is about the supervisor, will he step down from recommending who will be on the committee?" asked Gizzi.

"Given the timeliness of it all, I will not participate in the selection of this committee," said Sausville.

Town Attorney Tom Peterson pointed out the procedure for town residents to make an ethics inquiry needs to be "stringent."

"The capacity for mischief here could be unlimited," said Peterson. "Residents need to put in writing their reasoning and who their witnesses are, and must be specific with their facts. The town board will be gatekeepers before we put town officials at the risk and anxiety of going before the ethics board."

Ann Klotz, wife of former ethics committee chairman and newly elected town council member Peter Klotz, spoke from the audience about how a grievance she filed in October against Sausville is being handled, and asked when she will receive a response.

Ann Klotz, in a letter to the board signed by eight other residents, questioned the actions of Sausville when he endorsed council candidate Tara Thomas in a letter to the editor. She cited town law that no employee of the town should use his official status to influence political campaign-related activities.

"This grievance was made over three months ago, and I while I understand the need to reorganize the ethics committee, I asked the town board to handle this, and send it to the ethics committee or act as a town board," said Ann Klotz.

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