Last spring, the Catholic League filed a formal complaint with the New York State Ethics Commission against James Williams, an attorney for the New York State Department of Law (DOL), on the grounds that he misused his office for partisan political ends. The League charged Williams with using office time to organize a symposium on “Lesbian and Gay Law 1994” at Fordham University Law School, held on February 26 and 27, 1994.
On February 23, the Commission contacted the Catholic League regarding the results of its investigation. It concluded that Williams “did allow his State telephone number to be used in connection with the symposium as you allege.” It said that while the action was “inappropriate,” it did not “pose a substantial conflict with the proper discharge of the employee’s duties,” and did not therefore merit termination. However, it hastened to add that “DOL is aware of this matter, has instructed Williams not to use his State telephone number for such personal outside activities, and has taken steps to see that it is not repeated in the future. The Commission concurs with DOL’s actions in this matter.”
The Catholic League is satisfied for now and will continue to monitor situations like these.