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Former Metro-North exec violated state-anti-nepotism law

ALBANY – The Joint Commission on Public Ethics announced on Thursday that a former Metro-North Railroad assistant vice president has admitted to violating the state ethics law prohibiting nepotism by hiring her domestic partner to a position she oversaw.

Sherry Herrington, a former assistant vice president of Operation Services admitted in a settlement agreement to violating the state’s Public Officers Law prohibiting employees from hiring relatives when she recommended and ultimately gave final approval to the hiring of her domestic partner in 2008. Under the settlement agreement with the commission, Herrington was fined $3,500.

She retired in late 2013 following a report by the MTA inspector general that found that she misled human resources staff about her relationship with her domestic partner, and made the final decision to hire her to the $84,700 position over better qualified candidates.

New York’s ethics law prohibits state officials from participating in any decision to hire, promote, discipline or discharge a relative, including domestic partners, for any compensated position.

Herrington’s involvement with her partner’s hiring “was not only inappropriate, it violated the law,” said Commission Executive Director Letizia Tagiafierro.