Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie today announced that he has appointed James Yates and Marvin Ray Raskin to serve on the New York State Joint Commission on Public Ethics (JCOPE). The Commission oversees compliance by public officers with ethics laws and by lobbyists with the state laws that govern lobbying in order to avoid conflicts of interest on the part of those holding elected office or public employment in the State of New York. The Commission also requires those who advocate for or against actions by state government to disclose their clients and their interactions with government officials.
"Mr. Yates and Mr. Raskin's extensive experience in law and public service make them outstanding selections to serve on the Joint Commission of Public Ethics to help ensure the highest level of integrity in our state government," said Heastie. "They are both highly respected in their fields and committed to upholding the law and serving the State of New York."
The Commission consists of 14 members, three appointed by the Temporary President of the Senate, three appointed by the Speaker of the Assembly, one appointed by the Minority Leader of the Senate, one appointed by the Minority Leader of the Assembly, and six appointed by the Governor and the Lieutenant Governor.
James Yates has had a distinguished career in law and public service. He was first appointed to the bench as a Court of Claims Judge by Governor Mario Cuomo in 1992 and was subsequently elected to the New York State Supreme Court in 1997, on which he served until 2011. Mr. Yates served as Counsel to the Speaker of the Assembly from 1989 to 1992 and from 2011 to 2015. He also taught ethics at New York University School of Law and has co-authored textbooks on criminal procedure.
Marvin Ray Raskin also has exceptional experience in law and an extensive background in public service. Mr. Raskin served as a Bronx County assistant district attorney from 1972 to 1977 before establishing his own practice in 1977. Since then, he has held an array of positions in the Bronx County Bar Association, including president and chair of the board. His dedication to the bar also includes volunteering and mentoring young lawyers, as well as teaching various legal education courses.