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Posted on: December 18, 2020

Presiding Officer Calarco Appoints Coram Pastor to County Ethics Board

Beresford Adams stands in front of a bookcase.

HAUPPAUGE, N.Y. – Suffolk County Legislature Presiding Officer Rob Calarco has chosen Rev. Dr. Beresford Adams to serve as his appointment to the county’s ethics board.

Rev. Dr. Adams, of Coram, will join the five-member Suffolk County Board of Ethics for a term that will expire March 26, 2024. His appointment was approved by the legislature in a 17-0 vote at its general meeting on December 15, 2020.

“It is my honor to appoint the immensely qualified Rev. Dr. Adams to the Suffolk County Board of Ethics,” said Presiding Officer Calarco. “He is a humanitarian, an accomplished intellectual, and a man of faith who will bring a tremendous heart and a strong moral compass to the agency.”

Rev. Dr. Adams has been the senior pastor of Faith Baptist Church of Coram since 1987. An internationally recognized figure in religion, he is a former assistant commissioner for community affairs at the Suffolk County Police Department. He serves as a board member of the Brookhaven Town branch of the NAACP and the Suffolk County Anti-Bias Task Force.

“I am honored to serve in such an important appointment,” Rev. Dr. Adams said.

At Faith Baptist Church, Rev. Dr. Adams has spearheaded several initiatives, including a senior nutrition and Meals-On-Wheels program, before- and after-school programs, youth programs, chapter formations of Narcotics Anonymous and Alcoholics Anonymous, a housing development group geared toward low-income families, an emergency food pantry, and participation with the RESPITE Program, which aided homeless families.

Rev. Dr. Adams serves as president of the boards of Middle Island Alliance Inc., East End African American Baptist Clergy, and Youth Awareness, Inc. He also serves as a board member of the Retired Senior Volunteer Program and Stony Brook School of Social Welfare Geriatric Ministry. He has served on the Suffolk County Girl Scouts National Evaluation Committee, Pilgrim Psychiatric Hospital Board of Visitors, and Board of Visitors of Central Islip Psychiatric Hospital, of which he was appointed president by the Governor of New York State. He studied religion and theology at Princeton and Drew universities and is a guest lecturer at Stony Brook University’s School of Social Welfare.

The Suffolk County Board of Ethics was established by Local Law No. 56-2011 to oversee and enforce conflict of interest rules and financial disclosure requirements. Two of its members are appointed by the County Executive, and the County Legislature’s Presiding Officer, Majority Leader and Minority Leader appoint one member each. Under new training requirements put forth by Presiding Officer Calarco and approved by the legislature earlier this month, members of the ethics board must complete at least two hours of training annually on provisions of law relating to conflicts of interest and ethics at the federal, state and county levels, as required for them to discharge their duties.

Rev. Dr. Adams replaces Dennis O’Doherty, whose term expired.

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