Common Council ethics thrown to the wind
What I witnessed Wednesday, April 7, in Gloversville City Hall was an exercise in pure bias by the Gloversville Common Council against Councilman-at-Large William Rowback Jr. in that members of the council delegated themselves as an investigative body to investigate allegations made by individuals they, themselves, are close to and then voted, as a Common Council, to find Mr. Rowback guilty.
The ethics laws of New York state, Fulton County and the city of Gloversville clearly instruct local government officials to never act in ways which show an appearance of impropriety and bias. That is why most all cases of allegations against officials are held by an ethics tribunal in county or state. The city of Gloversville should have farmed out the complaint and investigation to a non-partisan body as to prove they had no bias or self-interest in cutting his throat.
To hold it as they did tonight was the same as taking the ethics laws, ripping them up and throwing them in the air as graffiti. It was shameful to witness and the residents of Gloversville need to know the truthful basis by which it occurred — some were afraid if Mr. Rowback Jr. was elected, they would be out of a job. They conspired and contrived, in my view, to tarnish him and strike at him as a direct result of that fear. That fear was actually part of the evidence. Those sympathetic and sharing in the same fears held court on the merit of one’s statement alone, which is hardly proof. That is all this was. Clearly a violation of the city, county and state ethics laws.
DALE HENRY MCGRATH