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New York’s lobbying regulator makes key staff appointments

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  • Staff Report 

The Commission on Ethics and Lobbying in Government, New York’s new ethics and lobbying regulator, announced the appointment of key staff members on Tuesday to aid its daily operations.

The commission, which is the successor organization to the now-defunct Joint Commission on Public Ethics, includes appointments to a board by the governor, legislative leaders, state comptroller, and state attorney general.

Executive Director Sanford Berland expressed his satisfaction with the new team, stating, “We continue to build a strong team of highly talented and motivated individuals who are dedicated to ensuring elected officials and those who seek to influence them are adhering to the highest ethical standards.” He also emphasized the commission’s commitment to transparency in fulfilling its broad and far-reaching responsibilities.


The new appointments include Keith St. John as the commission’s general counsel. St. John previously served as deputy counsel and director of ethics of the Joint Commission on Public Ethics. Kavita Bhatt has been named deputy general counsel; she previously served as an associate attorney at the Joint Commission on Public Ethics and was tasked with overseeing the new commission’s investigations unit.

The commission has also appointed Emily DeSantis as director of communications and Carol Quinn as director of lobbying. Michael Sande has been named director of ethics.

The Commission on Ethics and Lobbying in Government was established to address concerns about ethical misconduct in state government and to promote transparency and accountability in lobbying practices. The appointments of the new staff members are a critical step in achieving these goals.



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