New ethics committee chairman for Guilderland

— Photo from Joseph A. Glazer

Attorney Joseph A. Glazer is a new member of the town’s ethics committee, as well as its new chairman.

GUILDERLAND — Joseph A. Glazer — a private-practice attorney who also works part-time for a State Senator — has been appointed a member and the chairman of the town’s ethics committee, Supervisor Peter Barber announced last week.

In the late 1980s, Glazer said, he was counsel to the New York State Association of Counties when the state passed its first local-government ethics law. He drafted the original model ethics law for county governments that they could use to comply with the new law requiring all counties to have their own ethics laws.

The ethics committee, Glazer said, is an opportunity to give back to the community. The work of an ethics committee can be a bit complicated, he said, and he thought that, with his experience, he would be a good fit.

The committee’s former chairwoman, Brigitte Fortune, left the post in order to concentrate on other professional responsibilities, and the town’s attorney, James Melita, was briefly appointed interim chairman.

At the town board meeting Feb. 7 at which Glazer’s appointment was approved, Lee Carman, who is the board’s only Republican member, expressed some reservations about putting “political appointees” on the ethics board, but said that he would vote in favor, since the law does not prohibit this.

Glazer, 56, said he has been in Albany County for over 35 years, and in Guilderland for 14 or 15. He said that he originally came from Kingston to go to school and “basically never went back.” He came first for undergraduate studies at UAlbany after attending a community college, and then went on to Albany Law School.

Glazer and his wife have three children, he said. The youngest is a sophomore in college and the two older are in graduate school.

Glazer said that in his private practice he does a lot of family law and criminal law and has years of experience in areas related to mental health and substance abuse. He often works with treatment and diversion courts, he said.

He also works part-time as director of communications for Democratic State Senator George Latimer of Westchester, he said. Since 2001, he has also been an adjunct professor in the graduate school of Russell Sage, where he teaches in the health services administration master’s degree program.

In 1992 he ran for the State Assembly against Republican John J. Faso.  

From 2013 to 2014 he was chief of staff and counsel for State Senator Cecilia Tkaczyk.

Members of the ethics committee are not compensated, Barber said.

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