A formal ethics complaint has been filed against NH House Democrat majority leader Dough Ley. As noted here, the lines between Representative Ley and AFT-NH Union President Ley are blurred. To such a degree that the complaint as outlined appears to me to demonstrate that Rep. Ley is in violation.
The complaint begins with a description of a request by Rep. Greg Hill for an Advisory opinion from the House Legislative Ethics Committee last summer. Mr. Hill has an opportunity to accept employment with an organization but before doing so, would like to know if the conditions of employment would violate House ethics rules.
The ‘job’ would entail his,
“travel[ing] throughout NH explaining the benefits to individuals and businesses of donating to the NH Education Tax Credit Scholarship Program.” He stated that his compensation would come from the CSF “as a percentage of their administrative fee as outlined in the legislation.” Representative Hill, as he stated in his request, was one of the sponsors of the legislation that created the New Hampshire Education Tax Credit Scholarship Program (which allowed the subsequent formation of scholarship organizations such as the Children’s Scholarship Fund) and subsequent legislation that affected the program.
You can read all the details here.
The committee response is that while he could accept the position, there are many stipulations outlined in state statute that would restrict his activity as a legislator resulting in ethics violations if he did not limit himself as outlined.
The Committee responds as follows:
Representative Hill may accept employment with the CSF under the gift exception for wages in RSA 14-C, IV (b) (7) but he would violate the Ethics Guidelines if he engages in any of the activities listed in Guidelines Section 3, II (c), (d), and (f) on behalf of his employer. He should list his employment on the financial disclosure form or checklist and he should file a conflict of interest declaration of intent and not participate in any way in any official activities affecting his employer.
There is a great deal more detail on this – full details, again, can be seen here
The purpose of including these extensive details provided by the Ethics committee sets the table for the accusation and complaint against Democrat Majority Leader Doug Ley.
Based on the Gregory Hill Ethics Advisory Opinion, and given the facts that Representative Douglas Ley routinely represents himself as BOTH a Representative of the House AND President of the AFT-NH it would appear that his duties as a Representative must be reviewed. Below I have outlined several instances in the past term of office where Representative Ley’s participation in certain official activities would constitute violation of the Ethics Guidelines’ Prohibited Activities Paragraph II, Subparagraphs (c), (d), and (f).
The Details of the complaint outline specific instances where Rep. Lay engaged in behavior that would have been unethical, according to the committee, were Rep Hill to have participated in them. This must, therefore, mean that they are unethical each time Rep. Ley engaged in them.
Research has shown Ley to have never recused himself from a vote in committee nor in the full House due to conflict. Indeed, conversations with Labor committee members of both parties result in no recollection of ever restricting his own commentary on legislation OR on advising others who would be voting on bills affecting his position as President of the AFT-NH.
Again, the examples can be seen in their entirety here. The full complaint is also attached at the end of this post.
These examples clearly outline conflicts of interest where Rep. Ley violated House rules.
LASTLY, while time-consuming to investigate, it is certain that many “Blue Sheets” from both the Education Committees of the House and Senate would indicate that Representative Ley often signed in favor or opposed to legislation in his capacity as AFT-NH President. Each time doing so, it would appear he is violating the Ethics Guidelines’ Prohibited Activities Paragraph II, Subparagraphs (c), (d), and (f) and one wonders if he should not be wearing BOTH an orange badge of a lobbyist while also wearing his name tag as a sitting Representative. Disclose seems to be looked upon as the “cloak of propriety” and yet the advisory opinion says otherwise.
The committee has been asked to rule on these charges. We eagerly await their thoughts on the matter.
Correction: An earlier version of this post had an incorrect title. It should read “ethics complaint” brought, not ethics charges. Rep. Ley has not been charged with anything, yet. The title was amended.
Note: The complaint as presented was copied and pasted from text and reformatted. Any errors are mine.Ethics Complaint Against Rep. Doug Ley