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New ethics rules for NY counselors of veterans

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) -- New York state's Division of Veterans' Affairs has agreed to new ethics rules following an investigation showing two counselors received large inheritances from vets they helped.

Inspector General Catherine Leahy Scott concludes in a report that those are ethical lapses, citing a faulty conflict-of-interest policy and inadequate supervision at the division.

The report says one counselor accepted gifts including a $23,000 car and access to the World War II vet's bank accounts, which she also used to pay $2,500 of her own bills. The counselor inherited his house and stocks after he died in 2010.

Another counselor received a $28,000 mutual fund in a bequest.

New York law prohibits state workers from receiving gifts of more than nominal value.

Both cases have been referred to the state Joint Commission on Public Ethics.
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