SUNY Research Foundation head files complaint after CPI charge (updated)

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After he was charged earlier today by the New York Commission on Public Integrity with breaking the state’s ethics code, SUNY Research Foundation President John O’Connor’s attorney filed a 45-page complaint with Inspector General Ellen Biben, asking her to investigate the commission.

Karl Sleight, O’Connor’s attorney, claims the CPI denied O’Connor the right to be heard, rebuffing repeated attempts to meet and discuss the employment of Susan Bruno. The CPI claims there is reason to believe Bruno, who was hired in 2003, did not perform any work in her Research Foundation job, and rarely — if ever — came to the office. She quit in 2009.

Update: Morgan Hook, a SUNY spokesman, said Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher “takes very seriously the obligation all employees at SUNY have to public integrity.” O’Connor also serves as a SUNY vice chancellor, but the alleged infractions occurred before Zimpher was appointed.

“This particular matter should be resolved pursuant to all appropriate processes and procedures,” Hook said in a statement. “To this end, the Research Foundation and SUNY pledge their full cooperation in support of an expeditious, fair and just resolution of the matter.”

O’Connor faces a fine of up to $10,000. His attorney’s statement and the complaint filed with the IG can be found below.

JJO Media Package 5.13.11 (HBROC-1590393 v1)

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