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Rye Ethics Board to Advise on RTV Allegations

RYE, N.Y. — The Rye City Council confirmed speculation Wednesday that the city's Ethics Board will meet on March 30 to rule on allegations put forth by Rye TV employee Andrew Dapolite regarding misconduct by City Manager Scott Pickup and RTV Executive Director Nicole Levitsky.

In a searing, nine-page letter to members of the City Council , Dapolite accused Pickup of directing Levitsky to secretly tape a workshop between the council and members of the Fire Department.

According to Dapolite, Pickup instructed Levitsky to lie to both members of the public and the council about the existence of the recording, and, once the recording was released, manipulate the tape so that the sound was inaudible.

Dapolite also said that Levitsky ordered him to lie to members of the public and specifically to withhold information from council member Joe Sack, who was not at the meeting.

In his letter Dapolite cited portions of the City Charter that expound the council's power to conduct investigations into the affairs of city employees, and he formally requested that the council look into the matter. Dapolite requested that if the council, for whatever reason, chooses not to investigate the matter, it be referred to the Board of Ethics.

Anthony Piscionere, a lawyer and city Republican Party chair who also is on the city Zoning Board of Appeals, insisted Wednesday that under the City Charter, it is the council's job, not the Board of Ethics', to rule on the allegations.

"The Ethics Board doesn't have that authority, and a referral to them is a problem," Piscionere said. "You have something dumped in your lap, and as the council you are the one who needs to take action, not delegate that decision-making process to someone else. That's what you get elected to do. I encourage you to put in place a process that allows this matter to get put to bed, wherever it falls."

The Ethics Board previously convened on Jan. 12 and Feb. 2 of this year to investigate allegations surrounding Rye Mayor Doug French's rental home on Richard Place. Ultimately the board cleared the mayor , but the board's "disrespectful" lack of transparency in the way it arrived at the outcome stirred controversy.

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