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Stringer releases sweeping ethics reform plan to bring real change to City Hall, end pay-to-play, enforce gold-standard anti-corruption rules

Stringer’s agenda would ban all financial donations and bundling by individuals or entities doing business with the City, appoint an Ethics Czar in City Hall, enact real penalties for those that violate the law, and reform FOIL process to be independent and responsive

Builds on 30-year record of reform — from implementing the first real rules reform and ending empty seat voting in the Assembly to reforming the community board process to end patronage as Manhattan Borough President to fighting for transparency and accountability across city agencies as Comptroller

Stringer: “New Yorkers should be able to have complete faith that City officials make public decisions based on the public interest — not private contributions.”

New York, NY – City Comptroller and mayoral candidate Scott Stringer today unveiled an ethics reform plan to root out corruption and deliver a new level of transparency to City Hall. Stringer’s proposals would overhaul how business is conducted at City Hall and end a cycle of pay to play and insider favoritism that has diminished public trust in their government. 

Stringer’s proposals would ban all financial contributions and bundling by individuals or entities doing business with the City, and would enact tough penalties for those who violate campaign finance laws to end what is believed to be significant rule-breaking and non-reporting. 

Stringer also proposed appointing City Hall’s first ever Ethics Czar, who would be charged with ensuring that the operations of government are above reproach. In Stringer’s administration, his Ethics Czar would always have a seat at the table to ensure that no lobbyist or private entity is exercising undue influence on policy. Knowing that sunlight is the best disinfectant, Stringer also proposed crucial reforms to make the FOIL process more independent and more responsive. 

“New Yorkers deserve complete faith that their City officials make public decisions based on the public interest — not private contributions,” said Comptroller Scott Stringer. “As we come out of this pandemic, there should be no doubt among New Yorkers about who City Hall works for. As Mayor, I’ll break the culture of corruption fueled by big money in politics because I have 30 years of experience cleaning up government at all levels.”

Stringer’s ethics plan includes:

These reforms build off of Stringer’s 30-year legacy of championing good government and ethical public service. As a member of the New York Assembly, Stringer led efforts to end a bizarre practice that counted members as voting for bills even if they weren’t in the chamber and abolish rules that gave lobbyists special access to lawmakers. As Manhattan Borough President, Stringer transformed the process for appointments to Manhattan Community Boards — ending patronage appointments and implementing an independent screening panel of civic leaders and good government groups to vet candidates. Stringer also called for an end to the system of City Council member items that allows the Speaker to dole out funds to political friends and punish political enemies.

As Comptroller, Stringer has relentlessly exposed waste and fraud by government and private actors alike. He has audited the New York City Housing Authority more often than all other previous Comptrollers combined, exposing systemic failures to manage public resources and deliver for residents. He uncovered dangerous conditions for children in our City’s shelter system — from unsafe cribs, to vermin infestations. And he punished contractors who cheated workers out of their wages, barring companies who violate our labor laws from ever receiving another public contract.

Scott Stringer grew up in Washington Heights in the 1970s. He attended P.S. 152 on Nagle Avenue and I.S. 52 on Academy Street. He graduated from John F. Kennedy High School in Marble Hill and John Jay College of Criminal Justice in Manhattan, a CUNY school.

Stringer was elected City Comptroller in 2013. Prior to serving as Comptroller, he was Manhattan Borough President from 2006 to 2013 and represented the Upper West Side in the New York State Assembly from 1992 to 2005. He and his wife, Elyse Buxbaum, live in Manhattan with their two children, Max and Miles.