CLE Event: Twenty-Fourth Annual Citywide Seminar on Ethics in City Government

The 24th Annual Citywide Seminar on Ethics in City Government

The Conflicts of Interest Board and the Center for New York City Law at New York Law School are pleased to announce the 24th Annual Citywide Seminar on Ethics in City Government. 

Date: Thursday, May 24, 2018


Check in: 8:00 a.m. – 8:25 a.m.

Welcome: 8:30a.m. – 9:00 a.m.

Sessions: 9:00a.m. – 12:55 p.m.

Location: Auditorium WA14

*Registration: $40 City Employees; $100 General Admission

CLE: 4.0 Transitional and Nontransitional CLE Credits in Ethics and Professionalism




Title: 2018 COIB Advisory and Enforcement Round-up

Summary: Team taught by staff from the Board’s Advice, Enforcement, and Training Units, this session will examine some interesting questions that have emerged with some frequency over the last year, including the use and misuse of City vehicles, political activities, and superior-subordinate financial relationships. The participants will examine these and other issues from both Enforcement and Advice perspectives using hypotheticals.

Panelists: Chad Gholizadeh, Alex Kipp, Katherine Miller

Title: Ethics Is a Two-Way Street: Why Contractors, Grantees, and Lobbyists Can’t Ignore NYC’s Ethics Rules

SummaryIt’s often said that ethics is a “two-way street,” with many questions turning on public servants’ personal interactions with firms they deal in their official capacity. Generally at the Citywide Seminar we have focused on the “public servant” side of that street. This session will look at the other side. How does one advise City vendors on matters regarding Chapter 68? What are the questions that generally come up? What are the answers? How do those answers affect vendors’ business practices?

Panelists: Carolyn Lisa Miller, John L. Mascialino, Claude Millman

Title: Can Good Deeds Go Unpunished? Volunteering and Chapter 68

Summary: Helping out community organizations, political causes, and those in need of legal counsel can be of tremendous benefit to the public, but these activities can still create conflicts of interest. Come learn about Chapter 68’s volunteering restrictions through live-action game play and discussion.

Panelists: Gavin Kendall, Julia Lee, Isaiah Tanenbaum, Michele Weinstat

Title: New Regulations on Elected Official Controlled Not-for-Profit Organizations: When to Disclose or Return Donations

Summary: Local Law 181, passed in 2016, gives the Board the responsibility to regulate not-for-profits which are affiliated with elected officials, the kinds of contributions they may receive, and how those contributions must be disclosed. The Board just recently promulgated rules in order to interpret this law. This session will examine the law’s intent, the regulatory framework it has established, and the effects it may have on affiliated not-for-profits. 

Panelists: Chris Hammer, Alex Kipp

Title: When Is Gift Acceptance a Misuse of Position?

Summary: The Conflicts of Interest Law’s bright-line “Valuable Gifts” Rule governs the receipt of gifts from entities doing business or seeking to do business with City. But are there other kinds of gifts that might be problematic for a public servant to accept? What about gifts from subordinates, for example, or from entities with no City business at all? And if they are problematic, how does Chapter 68 deal with them?

Panelists: Ethan Carrier, Rob Casimir, Dan Iwrey, Roy Koshy

Title: Let’s Rewrite Chapter 68!

Summary: Chapter 68 of the City Charter is New York City’s comprehensive conflict of interest code for its public servants. Are there ways in which it could me more comprehensive? Are there ways in which it could be less so? Using example ethics codes from other jurisdictions, this session will explore alternative treatment of issues Chapter 68 already addresses and propose some ways of treating issues Chapter 68 does currently address. 

Panelists: Rob Casimir, Amber Gonzalez, Gavin Kendall, Clare Wiseman

Title: New Approaches to Investigating the City

Summary: A panel discussion that explores the new and innovative means being used by three different actors—the Auditing Unit of the New York City Comptroller’s Office, the New York City Council, and the press—to uncover corruption and other improprieties in New York City government.

Panelists: Roy Koshy, Jeff Tremblay, Marjorie Landa, Ben Max, Councilmember Ritchie Torres

Title: Legal Defense Funds: Identifying the Conflicts

Summary: As noted in a recent Board opinion, there is currently no City law that distinguishes contributions to a public servant’s legal defense fund from other gifts received from members of the public or entities doing business with the City. This session will explore what such a law could/should look like in New York City. How can funds be raised? How should they be reported? What mechanisms should be created to prevent real or apparent conflicts of interest?

Panelists: Ethan Carrier, Dan Iwrey, Carolyn Lisa Miller, Isaiah Tanenbaum


Seats will only be held after receiving full payment. If you would rather not use our online payment option, Mastercard and Visa payments (not AMEX) can be made over the phone at (212) 431-2855. Checks should be made payable to “New York Law School” and mailed to:

Lillian Valle-Santiago
Center for New York City Law
New York Law School
185 West Broadway
New York, NY 10013-2921.

For those who register online, but opt to send in a check for payment, checks must be received within 1 week after registration. However, if you register on or after May 16th payment must be received immediately in order to hold your seat. Late payment will result in your seat going to someone on the waiting list.

If your schedule changes and you are unable to attend, please note the deadline to request a refund is
May 22, 2018.

CLE financial aid assistance is available. Application for financial aid assistance must be received no later than three weeks prior to a course offering. Please visit NYLS’s CLE Tuition Assistance page to view the Law School’s financial aid policies for CLE events.

For questions about accessibility or to request special accommodations, please contact Center for NYC Law Coordinator Lillian Valle-Santiago at (212) 431-2855 or

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