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White Plains, NY —  In an effort to promote transparency and accountability among County elected officials, the Westchester County Board of Legislators voted 15-0 to approve the “Truthful Disclosure for Candidates” bill (2023-86) tonight. The inspiration for this legislation was born from the controversy surrounding Long Island Congressman George Santos, who is under ethical review after revealing he misrepresented his educational and professional background.
The act would require candidates for County Legislator and County Executive to complete a Candidate Disclosure Form that provides biographical information, including the candidate’s educational, military, and employment histories. The Candidate Disclosure Form will also require the candidate to certify that the information contained in the form is true and correct to the best of their knowledge. 

Some of the information subject to the disclosure includes:

  • The full legal name of the candidate and/or appointee,
  • The names of all post-secondary educational institutions,
  • The names and addresses of all full-time employment from ten years before candidacy,
  • Dates of employment and titles held, and
  • Military service, along with highest rank held and type of discharge.

“People want to know that the individuals they have elected to represent them are honest and transparent about their qualifications and experience,” said Chairwoman Catherine Borgia (D-Cortlandt, Croton on Hudson, Ossining, Briarcliff Manor, Peekskill). “I believe that this will help strengthen our democracy and ensure that elected leaders are truly serving the public interest.”

County Executive George Latimer said, “Transparency is key to ensuring accountability and building trust between the government and the public. The passage of the “Truthful Disclosure for Candidates” bill is a significant step forward in promoting transparency and integrity in Westchester County. We wanted to do something constructive, we want to begin the competitive process of campaigns knowing what are the honest baselines for each individual and that is what we have done.  I am proud to have worked with the Board on this Measure and I plan to sign the bill into law immediately.”
This commitment to honesty and transparency is essential for building trust with the public and helps ensure that elected officials are equipped to perform their duties effectively. In addition, providing accurate information about their qualifications and experience will ensure that they have the skills and knowledge to address the complex community issues they face.
The law will go into effect once signed by the County Executive.