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Ethics matter dropped; moratorium extended in New Scotland

The New Scotland Town Board unanimously passed a resolution to not take any further action against Commercial Zone Advisory Committee member Liz Kormos after meeting on Wednesday, Nov. 12. At the same meeting, the board voted unanimously to extend a building moratorium that has been in place since May.

Kormos had been at the heart of a potential conflict of interest concerns raised by committee chairwoman Roz Robinson, but the board decided to drop the issue after much debate in which Robinson raised questions about the nature of the relationship between Kormos and a potential buyer of the Bender melon farm property.

Town Supervisor Tom Dolin said each board member had their own reason for choosing not to pursue the matter, but said his vote stems from Kormos role as an advisory committee member. He said since Kormos acts in an advisory capacity she should be subjected to the same level of scrutiny as those with decision-making powers.

I don't think they should be subjected to the same code of ethics as elected officials, he said.

He added that advisory members are often experts and have experience in the fields they are advising on, and will often have had dealings with a number of parties.

He also said Kormos has brought a substantial amount of information to the table and has been a useful CZAC member.

Kormos' lawyer Peter Lauricella issued a statement on behalf of his client regarding the dismissal of the matter.

"It vindicates her position that she never had a conflict of interest. She looks forward to getting back to work with the CZAC process," he said.

Kormos said that since she has no control over the final outcome of the zoning law and no financial interest -- two key factors in a conflict of interest -- she did not break town code.

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