Yorktown Councilman Ed Lachterman threatened to expose the results of an ethics complaint he filed against Councilman Vishnu Patel if the Town Board doesn’t release the findings of the Ethics Board at its Sept. 17 meeting.
Lachterman, a Republican, had filed an ethics complaint against Patel, a Democrat, in October 2017 alleging that, in violation of town code, Patel divulged information to the press that was discussed during an executive session of the Town Board.
Patel referred all questions about the complaint to Town Attorney Richard S. Abbate. In a meeting with the Yorktown News, Abbate declined to talk about the substance of the complaint, saying the discussions have taken place in the board’s executive session.
According to Lachterman, the Ethics Board took 17 months to conduct its investigation and submit its findings to the Town Board. However, the Town Board still has not made those findings public.
At the board’s meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 10, Lachterman accused the board of covering up the findings and said he would hold a press conference detailing them if the board didn’t take action on the matter at its next meeting, scheduled for Sept. 17.
“[Lachterman] said ‘you’re covering up’ and I say ‘I’m following the law’,” Supervisor Ilan Gilbert said following this week’s meeting.
“I have not been able to be part of the discussions on this as I am the person that filed the complaint, but since I am the person that filed the complaint, I am able to share the results,” Lachterman said.
Gilbert told the Yorktown News that action has been taken based on the findings of the Ethics Board, but he is not required to share the action or decision publicly.
According to the town code, “The Town Board shall consider, but need not follow, the recommended disciplinary action as advised by the Board of Ethics.”
Albert J. Durante, acting chair of Yorktown Board of Ethics, declined to comment.