Independent Ethics Officer

As part of Adams County’s continuing emphasis on transparency and accountability, the board of commissioners created the position of independent ethics officer. Creating this position signifies the board’s commitment to ensure best practices for good government.

Through a competitive process, Adams County selected Suzanne M. Dugan with the law firm of Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll as the independent ethics officer for Adams County. Ms. Dugan serves  as an independent expert resource on ethics issues.

Her duties include receiving, evaluating and investigating reports of unethical conduct by or within Adams County government. She also collaborates with the County Attorney’s Office to issue opinions and provide guidance to individuals who have questions on ethics issues and regarding the interpretative and application of the County’s Code of Ethics.  
Ms. Dugan is a national expert in government ethics over 30 years of experience.  She heads the Ethics & Fiduciary Counseling practice at Cohen Milstein, which she founded over a decade ago.  She previously served for 20 years with New York State, including as General Counsel to the former New York State Ethics Commission and as Special Counsel for Ethics to the New York State Comptroller. 

Dugan’s government ethics experience includes practical skills in implementing ethics programs, including the creation of hotlines for reporting wrongdoing, drafting  codes of ethics to reflect best practices, providing ethics guidance and advice, and creating  ethics education programs.  


Suzanne Dugan
Independent Ethics Officer

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