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Former Mayoral Candidate Files Ethics Complaint Against Gloversville Officials

Facebook: William Rowback For Mayor

A former mayoral candidate in the City of Gloversville has filed ethics complaints against his former opponent and two other city officials. It all stems from the release of his personnel file during the campaign.

On October 28th, 2017, while debating incumbent Gloversville Mayor Dayton King at a forum hosted by a local radio station, Bill Rowback Jr. learned that the man he was challenging for a four-year term had looked into his personnel record. King said during the debate he had pulled Rowback’s file. The file also appeared on social media.

Rowback, who won the Republican primary in September against King, appeared to win the office on election night. But days later, after all absentee ballots were counted, Rowback was defeated by only 28 votes.

It was just a few days after the October debate that Rowback contacted state police.

In December, the newly re-elected Mayor King turned himself in and was charged with misdemeanor official misconduct. Police said he used his public office to gain access to Rowback’s personnel information.

King pleaded not guilty and has maintained his innocence. He has another court date scheduled for April 4th.

Now, Rowback, a city firefighter, has filed complaints against King, Gloversville City Councilwoman Marcia Weiss, and City Attorney Anthony Casale with the city’s ethics board. As reported by the Gloversville Leader-Herald, the complaint was recently forwarded to the Fulton County Board of Ethics.

Speaking with WAMC Friday, Rowback says his actions could have wide-reaching impact.

“This affects every firefighter, police officer, and corrections officer throughout the United States,” said Rowback.

Rowback points to Section 50-A of New York’s Civil Rights Law, which says personnel records “shall be considered confidential and not subject to inspection or review without the express written consent of such police officer, firefighter, firefighter/paramedic, correction officer or peace officer within the department of corrections and community supervision or probation department except as may be mandated by lawful court order.”

Rowback says elected officials set an example for any other person who wants to run for office.

“You’ve set yourself to a higher standard. And I want them to be held accountable for it,” said Rowback.

Lucas Willard is a news reporter and host at WAMC Northeast Public Radio, which he joined in 2011. He produces and hosts The Best of Our Knowledge and WAMC Listening Party.
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