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STEVE LEVY, ESQ.

228 BARRETT AVENUE


BAYPORT, NEW YORK 11705
631-877-0940

January 13, 2010

New York State Commission on Public Integrity


540 Broadway
Albany, NY 12207

Re: Complaint of Violation of State Ethics Code

Dear Commission:

I am filing a formal complaint regarding the acts and statements of State Assemblymen
Peter Rivera and Phil Ramos made on January 5 and 6, 2010, in their positions as New
York State elected officials.

Following the announcement of my possible run for New York State Governor, State
Assemblymen Peter Rivera and Phil Ramos made numerous false and slanderous
statements regarding me, and they issued an official Media Advisory entitled, “Hispanic
Lawmakers to Denounce Steve Levy’s Contemplation of Governorship as an Insult to
New York’s New Majority.” In the Press Release, the Assemblymen stated:

“Steve Levy supporters will be considered persona non grata on issues decided by
state level lawmakers.”

A copy of Assemblyman Rivera’s Media Advisory, dated January 6, 2010, is attached.


(The fact that this political press release was issued from Rivera’s government office on
his government stationary is also a cause for investigation.)

Further, at their news conference on January 6, 2010, the Assemblymen, in their official
capacities, stated that they would “boycott” my “political contributors.”

The Advisory and comments by Assemblymen Rivera and Ramos are their attempt to
improperly influence the election process, denigrate the public’s trust and confidence in
their elected officials, and are violative of the New York State Ethics Code.

New York Public Officers Law § 73, entitled “Business or professional activities by state
officers and employees and party officers,” provides, in pertinent part, as follows:

16. (a) No statewide elected official, state officer or employee involved in the
awarding of state grants or contracts may ask a current or prospective grantee or
contractor, or any officer, director or employee thereof, to disclose: (i) the party
affiliation of such grantee or contractor, or any officer, director or employee
thereof; (ii) whether such grantee or contractor, or any officer, director or
employee thereof, has made campaign contributions to any party, elected official,
or candidate for elective office; or (iii) whether such grantee or contractor, or any
officer, director or employee thereof, cast a vote for or against any elected
official, candidate or political party.

(b) No statewide elected official or state officer or employee may award or


decline to award any state grant or contract, or recommend, promise or threaten to
do so, in whole or in part, because of a current or prospective grantee's or
contractor's refusal to answer any inquiry prohibited by paragraph (a) of this
subdivision, or giving or withholding or neglecting to make any contribution of
money or service or any other valuable thing for any political purpose.

17. (a) No statewide elected official, or state officer or employee may during the
consideration of an employment decision ask any applicant for public
employment to disclose: (i) the political party affiliation of the applicant; (ii)
whether the applicant has made campaign contributions to any party, elected
official, or candidate for elective office; or (iii) whether the applicant cast a vote
for or against any elected official, candidate or political party. The provisions of
this paragraph shall not apply where (1) such inquiry is necessary for the proper
application of any state law or regulation; or (2) such inquiry is consistent with
publicly disclosed policies or practices of any state agency or public authority,
whose purpose is to ensure the representation of more than one political party on
any multi-member body.

(b) No statewide elected official or state officer or employee may decline to hire
or promote, discharge, discipline, or in any manner change the official rank or
compensation of any state official or employee, or applicant for employment, or
promise or threaten to do so, based upon a refusal to answer any inquiry
prohibited by paragraph (a) of this subdivision, or for giving or withholding or
neglecting to make any contribution of money or service or any other valuable
thing for any political purpose.

(c) No state officer or employee shall, directly or indirectly, use his or her official
authority to compel or induce any other state officer or employee to make or
promise to make any political contribution, whether by gift of money, service or
other thing of value

By their written and oral comments, Assemblymen Rivera and Ramos have advised the
public that any person or entity that supports my candidacy for the position of Governor
of the State of New York will not be treated as those that do not support me with respect
to State issues. They have expressly threatened the public—if you want to be heard by
your sworn elected officials on State issues, you cannot cast your vote for Steve Levy for
Governor. In other words, no matter how important your State issue, the litmus test for
assistance is your opposition to Steve Levy. An exchange—your vote against Steve Levy
for the possible award of a State contract or grant or assistance.

Additionally, Public Officers Law § 74(3) provides:

f. An officer or employee of a state agency, member of the legislature or


legislative employee should not by his conduct give reasonable basis for the
impression that any person can improperly influence him or unduly enjoy his
favor in the performance of his official duties, or that he is affected by the
kinship, rank, position or influence of any party or person.

The words by these Assemblymen clearly and unequivocally indicate that they can each
be influenced and will each give favors in the performance of their duties as elected
officials by any person who comes out against my possible campaign for Governor of the
State of New York.

The conduct of these elected officials cannot be overlooked or sanctioned by non-action.


The public deserves to know that their elected officials, sworn to uphold the laws of the
State of New York, are not permitted to demand that people who want to do business
with and be heard by their State government cannot vote for any particular person. The
people of the State of New York and the residents of Suffolk County deserve no less.

Very truly yours,

Steve Levy
County Executive

Enclosure