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Suffolk County, NY
 
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[Added 8-29-1995 by L.L. No. 4-1996]
As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
CLIENT
Every person or organization who retains, employs or designates any person or organization to carry on lobbying activities on behalf of such client.
COMMISSION
The Suffolk County Ethics Commission.
CONTRIBUTION or EXPENDITURE
Any direct or indirect payment, distribution, loan, advance, deposit of money or gift of money or any services or any thing of value, by independent committee or otherwise, to any elected official or any candidate, campaign committee or political party or organization, in connection with any election to any of the offices referred to in the definition of "elected official" of this section, but shall not include:
A. 
Communications by a labor organization to its members and their families on any subject;
B. 
Nonpartisan registration and get-out-the-vote campaigns by a labor organization aimed at its members and their families; and/or
C. 
The establishment, administration and solicitation of contributions to a separate segregated fund to be utilized for political purposes by a labor organization.
COUNTY AGENCY
Any department, board, bureau, commission, division, office, council, committee or officer of the County, whether permanent or temporary, or a public authority at least one of whose members is appointed by the County Executive, County Legislature or a County officer, authorized by law to make rules or to make final decisions in adjudicatory proceedings, but shall not include the judiciary.
ELECTED OFFICIAL
The Suffolk County Executive, Suffolk County Clerk, Suffolk County Sheriff, Suffolk County District Attorney, Suffolk County Comptroller and any member of the Suffolk County Legislature.
[Amended 6-17-2014 by L.L. No. 32-2014]
LOBBYING or LOBBYING ACTIVITIES
Any attempt to influence the passage or defeat of any legislation by the County Legislature or the approval or disapproval of any legislation by the County Executive; the adoption or rejection by the County of Suffolk, its agencies, boards, departments, offices or commissions of any rule or regulation having the force and effect of law; or the outcome of any ratemaking proceeding by a County agency. The term "lobbying" shall not include:
A. 
Persons engaged in drafting legislation, rules, regulations or rates or persons advising clients and rendering opinions on proposed legislation, rules, regulations or rates where such professional services are not otherwise connected with legislative or executive action on such legislation or administrative action on such rules, regulations or rates;
B. 
Newspapers and other periodicals and radio and television stations and owners and employees thereof, provided that their activities in connection with proposed legislation, rules, regulations or rates are limited to the publication or broadcast of news, items, editorials, other comment or paid advertisements;
C. 
Persons who participate as witnesses, attorneys or other representatives in public rulemaking or ratemaking proceedings of a County agency, with respect to all participation by such persons which is part of the public record thereof and all preparation by such persons for such participation;
D. 
Persons who attempt to influence a County agency in an adjudicatory proceeding, as defined by Section 102 of the New York State Administrative Procedure Act; and/or
E. 
Persons who prepare or submit a response to a request for information or comments by the County Legislature, the County Executive or a County agency or a committee or officer of the Legislature or a County agency.
LOBBYIST
Every person or organization retained, employed or designated by any client to engage in lobbying before the County of Suffolk, its agencies, boards, commissions, County Legislature, County Executive or any other elected County official and registered under Chapter 580 of the Suffolk County Code. The term "lobbyist" shall not include any officer, director, trustee, employee, counsel or agent of the County of Suffolk when discharging his or her official duties.
ORGANIZATION
Any corporation, company, foundation, association, labor organization, firm, partnership, joint venture, joint-stock company, County agency or public corporation.
A. 
No elected official or candidate for such office of an elected official shall knowingly accept any contribution, via independent committee or otherwise, from any lobbyist.
B. 
No lobbyist shall knowingly make any contribution, via independent committee or otherwise, to any elected official or candidate for such office of an elected official.
C. 
For the purposes of this section:
(1) 
Contributions to a named elected official or candidate for such office of an elected official made to any political committee authorized by such candidate to accept contributions on his or her behalf shall be considered to be contributions made to such elected official or candidate for such office.
(2) 
Expenditures made by any contributor in cooperation, consultation or concert with or at the request or suggestion of an elected official or candidate for such office of an elected official, his or her authorized political committees or their agents shall be considered to be a contribution to such elected official or candidate for such office.
(3) 
The financing by a contributor of the dissemination, distribution or publication, in whole or in part, of any broadcast or any written, graphic or other form of campaign materials prepared by the elected official or candidate for such office of an elected official, his or her campaign committees or their authorized agents shall be considered to be an expenditure for purposes of this subsection.
D. 
For the purposes of the limitations imposed by this section, all contributions made by a contributor, either directly or indirectly, on behalf of a particular elected official or candidate for such office of an elected official, including contributions which are in any way earmarked or otherwise directed through an intermediary or conduit to such elected official or candidate for such office, shall be treated as contributions from such contributor to such elected official or candidate for such office of an elected official. The intermediary or conduit shall report the original source and the intended recipient of such contribution to the Suffolk County Board of Elections and to the intended recipient.
E. 
No elected official, candidate for such office of an elected official or political committee shall knowingly accept any contributions or make any expenditure in violation of the provisions of this section. No officer or employee of a political committee shall knowingly accept a contribution made for the benefit or use of an elected official or candidate for such office of an elected official or knowingly make any expenditure on behalf of an elected official or candidate for such office of an elected official in violation of any limitation imposed on contributions and expenditures under this section.
Elected officials, candidates for such office of an elected official and lobbyists shall file semiannual statements with the Commission no later than May 31 and October 31 of each year, on forms prescribed by the Commission, stating that no contributions have been knowingly accepted or knowingly made, as the case may be, in violation of § C39-2 of this article, except that a candidate for office shall only have to file this report in his or her capacity as a candidate for such office during the year in which he or she runs as a candidate.
A. 
Any person who fails to file a statement required to be filed by § C39-3 of this article or the rules or regulations of the Commission in implementation thereof shall be subject to a civil penalty, not in excess of $1,000, to be recoverable in a civil proceeding brought by the Commission.
B. 
Any person who knowingly and willfully fails to file a statement required to be filed by § C39-3 of this article or the rules or regulations of the Commission in implementation thereof within five days after the date provided for filing such statement shall be guilty of an unclassified misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of $2,500 and/or four months' imprisonment.
C. 
Any person who knowingly and willfully contributes or expends or aids or participates in the contribution or expenditure of funds in violation of this article or who knowingly and willfully accepts or aids or participates in the acceptance of a contribution in violation of this article shall be guilty of an unclassified misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of $2,500 and/or four months' imprisonment.
D. 
Any person who knowingly and willfully neglects or refuses to furnish any information required or authorized by this article or to exhibit records, papers or documents authorized by this article to be inspected or which are required to be exhibited shall be guilty of an unclassified misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of $2,500 and/or four months' imprisonment.
E. 
Any person who knowingly and willfully expends or aids or participates in the expenditure of funds for a purpose or in a manner which violates the provisions of this article shall be guilty of an unclassified misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of $2,500 and/or four months' imprisonment.
F. 
Any person who knowingly and willfully fails to return or aids or participates in the failure to return to the Commission any funds required to be returned to such Commission pursuant to the provisions of this article shall be guilty of an unclassified misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of $2,500 and/or four months' imprisonment.
G. 
Any person who furnishes any false, fictitious or fraudulent evidence, books or information to the Commission under this article or includes in any evidence, books or information so furnished any misrepresentation of a material fact or falsifies or conceals any evidence, books or information relevant to any audit by the Commission or knowingly and willfully violates any other provision of this article shall be guilty of an unclassified misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of $2,500 and/or four months' imprisonment.
This article shall apply to contributions made or accepted on or after the effective date of this article.
The Commission is hereby authorized and empowered to issue and promulgate such rules and regulations as it shall deem necessary to implement the provisions of this article.