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State Republican Chair accuses Destito of ethics violation, OGS says photo was taken before her confirmation

By JOLEEN FERRIS

DECISION 2011 (WKTV)- The New York State Republican Chairman says former Democrat Assemblywoman and current state Office of General Services Commissioner RoAnn Destito is violating the Governor's ethical standards by appearing in campaign mailers for the democrat seeking her assembly seat.

The ads are set in places that do business with the Office of General Services, such as SUNYIT in Marcy.

"In an advisory opinion offered by the New York State Ethics Commission with regards to state officials having involvement in political campaigns, they ruled, 'No officer or employee of a state agency...should use or attempt to use (their) official position to secure unwarranted privileges or exemptions for (themselves) or others..." said State Republican Chairman Ed Cox.

Cox and the committee are calling on the governor to enlist his Joint Commission on Ethics to investigate the matter.

Commissioner Destito is one of several members of the governor's cabinet who traveled the state earlier this year, advancing the importance of ethics and the governor's proposed ethics reform.

Late Friday night, Heather Groll from the Office of General Services released the following statement. "She has been a public figure for many years so there are many photos of her out there. She cannot control how her image is used or by whom. This photo was taken prior to her confirmation and no laws were violated. Since last week, Commissioner Destito has been singularly focused on storm preparation and response efforts. This will continue to be her top priority as the families, communities and businesses affected by Hurricane Irene work towards recovery."


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