Upon taking office, Speaker Carl Heastie made a commitment to strengthen ethics and introduce greater transparency and accountability in the New York State Assembly. Today he announced the appointment of Jane T. Feldman as the executive director of the new Office of Ethics and Compliance. Ms. Feldman was recommended to the Speaker by a bi-partisan committee of Assembly members who conducted a nationwide search for candidates.
"Thanks to the hard work of the Assembly search committee, we were able to reach strong candidates from all across the country," said Speaker Heastie. "Jane Feldman's experience, especially her time as the first executive director of the Colorado Independent Ethics Commission, made her stand out from the other qualified applicants. I know that Ms. Feldman will be a valuable resource to members and staff to ensure adherence to laws and regulations."
"I am honored that Speaker Heastie and the committee selected me to serve in this important post. After years of building a career surrounding government and ethics, I am excited to return to my home state to help the Assembly accomplish its ethics and policy goals," said Feldman.
Ms. Feldman served as the first executive director of the Colorado Independent Ethics Commission. Most recently, founded Rocky Mountain Ethics Consulting with the goal of creating a more ethical culture in businesses and government agencies. Ms. Feldman co-founded Great Education Colorado and its sister organization, Colorado Protectors of Public Schools, bi-partisan organizations which advocated for increased funding for public schools. She also served as an assistant attorney general in the Colorado Department of Law. She began her career as an assistant district attorney in the New York County District Attorney's Office.
Feldman was also an appointed member of the Denver Board of Ethics, a regular panelist at the annual conference of the Council on Government Ethics Laws and has written about the importance of the independence of ethics commissions.
She is a graduate of the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law at Yeshiva University and she earned a bachelor's degree from Wesleyan University.
The search committee, which was convened earlier this year, is comprised of six members who have extensive experience in the practice of law and ethics: William B. Magnarelli, Michele R. Titus, Philip Ramos, Shelley Mayer, Todd D. Kaminsky and Janet L. Duprey.
Assemblymember Magnarelli said, "I am thankful for having the opportunity to assist the Speaker and the Assembly in finding an executive director for the new Office of Ethics and Compliance. Jane Feldman has the experience, ability and demeanor to assist members in complying with rules and regulations affecting each member of the body. I thank my fellow committee members for their help and assistance in this very rewarding process and I am looking forward to working with Ms. Feldman."
Assemblymember Titus said, "After careful review, the selection of Jane Feldman is the best choice for this position. Ms. Feldman's experience as the first executive director of Colorado's Independent Ethics Commission will serve us well as we move forward to protect the integrity of this institution."
Assemblymember Ramos said, "Under Jane Feldman's leadership, the new Office of Ethics and Compliance will improve the integrity and compliance of the People's House. The search committee found an exceptional candidate in Ms. Feldman and I am looking forward to the future progress it will bring. "
Assemblymember Mayer said, "Jane Feldman is an excellent choice to lead the new Office of Ethics and Compliance. She was the unanimous choice within a bi-partisan committee. Ms. Feldman has the highest ethical standards, and I am confident she will provide valuable education and guidance to the members of the Assembly on these issues."
Assemblymember Kaminsky said, "Jane Feldman is a perfect fit for this newly created and important position. Her years of experience dealing with ethics and governance will allow her to help train and guide the Assembly going forward."
Assemblymember Duprey said, "After many meetings and interviews, I am pleased my colleagues and I unanimously agreed to recommend Jane Feldman as the executive director of the newly established Assembly office. With her outstanding credentials and experience, I am confident Ms. Feldman will work well with all of the Assembly members and staff to bring a new level of ethical compliance to the Assembly. I appreciate Minority Leader Kolb and Speaker Heastie giving me the opportunity to serve on this bipartisan committee as we now go forward with Ms. Feldman to restore faith in the People's House."
Peggy Kerns, former director of the Center for Ethics in Government at the National Conference of State Legislatures said, "During my time working with Jane Feldman, I found her work ethic and understanding of the legislature remarkable. In my opinion, the Colorado Independent Ethics Commission not only survived, but also flourished, because of Jane's perseverance and organization. I have the upmost confidence that she will bring this same level of excellence to her work with the New York State Assembly."