Suffolk County, NY
 
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Suffolk County Legislature 5-13-1963 by L.L. No. 2-1963; amended in its entirety 4-14-1970 by L.L. No. 9-1970 (Ch. 89, Art. I, of the 1985 Code). Amendments noted where applicable. Uncodified sections of certain local laws amending these provisions are included at the end of this chapter.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Contracts with minority- and women-owned businesses — See Ch. 189, Art. VI.
Domestic partnerships — See Ch. 410.
Human rights — See Ch. 528.
Internet crimes — See Ch. 538.
Senior citizens bill of rights — See Ch. 735.
119a Uncod LL Pro

§ 119-1 Legislative findings.

[Amended 11-23-1976 by L.L. No. 23-1976]
A. 
Practices of discrimination against the citizens of Suffolk County because of race, creed, color, national origin or sex are a matter of public concern. Such practices threaten not only the rights and proper privileges of inhabitants of the county but menace the institutions and foundations of a free democratic state.
B. 
The County Legislature finds that the existence of such practices warrants the enactment of the following provisions of law.

§ 119-2 Creation of Commission.

Pursuant to § 239-o of the General Municipal Law, there is hereby created the Suffolk County Human Rights Commission.

§ 119-3 Powers and duties.

[Amended 2-5-1980 by L.L. No. 3-1980]
It shall be the duty of the Commission:
A. 
To foster mutual respect and understanding among all groups in the community, regardless of race, creed, color, national origin, sex, age, disability, marital status or sexual orientation.
[Amended 3-1-1988 by L.L. No. 5-1988]
B. 
To make such studies in any field of human relationship in the community as in the judgment of the Commission will aid in effectuating its general purposes and, where desirable, to make the results of such studies public.
C. 
To inquire into incidents of tension and conflict among or between various groups arising out of race, creed, color, national origin, sex, age, disability, marital status or sexual orientation and to take such action as may be designated to alleviate such tensions and conflicts.
[Amended 3-1-1988 by L.L. No. 5-1988]
D. 
To conduct and recommend such educational programs as in the judgment of the Commission will increase goodwill among inhabitants of the community and open new opportunities into all phases of community life for all inhabitants.
E. 
To receive, accept, use, administer and expend public grants and private gifts, donations or bequests and other payments, goods and services when authorized by local law or resolution of the County Legislature.
F. 
To investigate complaints and to report them to the New York State Division of Human Rights and/or to other public bodies so empowered any such cases alleging unlawful discrimination practices under Article 15 of the New York State Executive Law and related antidiscrimination laws.
[Added 3-1-1988 by L.L. No. 5-1988]
G. 
To hold hearings, compel the attendance of witnesses and the production of books and papers, administer oaths and affirmations and take the testimony of any person under oath in connection with any matter brought before the Commission by the Executive Director, and in connection therewith to require the production of any evidence relating to any matter under investigation or in question before the Commission. Subpoenas may be issued through the Suffolk County Department of Law pursuant to this subsection only if authorized by an affirmative vote of at least a majority of the entire membership of the Commission directed specifically to such an authorization. The Commission, after the completion of any public hearing held in connection herewith, shall issue a written report to the County Executive and each member of the County Legislature setting forth the facts found by it and its recommendations. At any hearing before said Commission, or any committee thereof, a witness shall have the right to be advised by counsel present during such hearing. The Commission hearings shall be held separate and apart from the Commission’s investigations, functions, and/or any other work-sharing agreements in effect with the New York State Division of Human Rights. Any such hearing held before the Commission or any committee thereof shall be conducted in conformity with Article 7 of the New York Public Officers Law (Open Meetings Law).
[Added 6-19-1998 by L.L. No. 12-1998]
H. 
To authorize, by an affirmative vote of at least a majority of the entire membership of the Commission, the delegation of the power to hold hearings as set forth in Subsection G of this section to any group of five or more members of the Commission acting as a committee thereof. In the event that such a delegation of authority is granted by the Commission, then the Commission shall designate one member of said committee to act as hearing chairman and as the officer who may administer oaths and affirmations in connection with any matter brought before the Commission by the Executive Director.
[Added 6-19-1998 by L.L. No. 12-1998]
I. 
To maintain a bureau or satellite office on the east end of Suffolk County (Riverhead, Southold, Shelter Island, East Hampton or Southampton) on at least a part-time basis, at the direction of the Executive Director.
[Added 6-19-1998 by L.L. No. 12-1998[1]]
[1]
Editor’s Note: Former Subsection J, adding new investigators to 1998 staffing levels, which immediately followed this section, was deleted at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. II).

§ 119-4 Membership; terms; organization; compensation; rules of proceedings.

A. 
Said Commission shall consist of 15 members, who shall be appointed by the County Executive with the approval of the County Legislature. Members of the Commission shall have terms of three years, except that when first appointed, five members shall be appointed for terms of one year, five for terms of two years and five for terms of three years from and after the date of their appointment. All other appointments shall be for terms of three years; provided, however, that any appointment to fill a vacancy occurring otherwise than by the expiration of term shall be for the balance of said member’s term. The Chairman of the Commission shall be appointed by the County Executive with the approval of the County Legislature and shall serve for a term of one year in that capacity.
B. 
The members of the Commission shall serve without compensation but shall be allowed their actual and necessary expenses incurred in the performance of their duties hereunder.
C. 
The Commission may make its own rules for its proceedings subject to such rules as may be set forth in § 119-3 of this chapter.
[Amended 6-19-1998 by L.L. No. 12-1998]

§ 119-5 Executive Director; expenses.

A. 
There is hereby created, subject to the approval and classification of the Civil Service Department, the position of Executive Director to such Commission. The Executive Director shall be appointed by and serve at the pleasure of the Commission. The Executive Director shall act as secretary of the Commission and perform such other duties as shall be assigned to him by the Commission.
B. 
Within the amounts made available by appropriation therefor, the Commission may provide for the payment of its expenses, including personal services, in carrying out the provisions of this chapter.