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Utica Mayor announces appointments to Board of Ethics

By WKTV News

UTICA, N.Y. - Utica Mayor Robert Palmieri announced Tuesday that he has appointed the President of the Oneida County Bar Association and the co-author of the City of Utica School District's Code of Conduct to the city's rejuvenated Board of Ethics.

Attorney Elizabeth Snyder Fortino and educator Jeannette A. Spina are the first appointments made to the ethics panel since 1993. They will be responsible for hearing complaints regarding conflicts of interest alleged against city employees, appointed officials and elected office holders. Fortino and Spina will also make sure that the City of Utica complies with all state ethics standards, Palmieri stated.

"Rebuilding trust in local government begins with a strong Ethics Board and rebuilding the Ethics Board begins with Elizabeth Fortino and Jeannette Spina," Mayor Palmieri said in a statement. "Ms. Fortino is an attorney respected throughout the legal community. Ms. Spina is an educator, artist, and problem-solver. Both of these distinguished women are private citizens who have never been involved in politics. They will both bring intellect and independence to City Hall."

Fortino was elected President of the Oneida County Bar Association in 2012 and won the Association's Distinguished Service Award in 2004. Among numerous honors, Fortino received the "Accent on Excellence" Award from the Observer-Dispatch in 2003. She graduated from Utica College with highest honors and received her Juris Doctor degree from the University at Buffalo School of Law in 2000.

Spina is a certified art teacher, spending 35 years within the Utica City School District. She is a former tennis professional and has coached several sports at the high school and collegiate level. Spina hold an Advanced Certificate in Conflict Resolution from Lesley College.

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