New York JCOPE Issues Advisory Opinion on Third Party Gifts - State and Federal Communications

October 1, 2020  •  

New York JCOPE Issues Advisory Opinion on Third Party Gifts

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On October 1, the Joint Commission on Public Ethics (JCOPE) announced the final draft of Advisory Opinion 20-02, providing guidance to identify the permissibility of a gift to a third party at the direction of or on behalf of a public official.

Statutes and regulations presumptively prohibit a gift to a public official from an interested source or gifts to a third party solicited by a public official or an intermediary.

Advisory Opinion 20-02 allows the presumption of impermissibility to be overcome by taking into account specific situations including: the nature or purpose of the gift; nature of the donor’s pending business with the official; and prior history of gifts to the cause or third-party organization.

JCOPE will determine whether a gift violates the law or overcomes the presumption on a case-by-case basis.

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