Westchester Assemblyman's Anti-Corruption Legislation Picks Up More Support

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Assemblyman David Buchwald
Assemblyman David Buchwald Photo Credit: File

WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y. -- Assemblyman David Buchwald's (D-Westchester) legislation that would expand the law that strips state pension benefits from public officials convicted of felonies where the public’s trust has been violated now has the required support to pass on the Assembly floor. 

The bill has gained the support of 89 members of the Assembly, well more than the 76 votes required to pass. 

“This ethics reform is long overdue for the people of New York,” Buchwald said in a statement. “It’s unacceptable that even the most corrupt officials are allowed to continue to collect a state pension. This type of behavior should not be tolerated any longer.”

Buchwald’s bill is an amendment to the New York State Constitution aiming to strengthen the current “Public Integrity Reform Act,” which only strips pension benefits of convicted officials who first entered the State pension system after the law took effect in November 2011. Buchwald’s bill would apply to any public official, regardless of when he or she first held office.

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This is the first step in a good direction. However, more has to be done to investigate for fraud and illegal actions by our elected and other public officials. Greenburgh Supervisor Paul Feiner was found guilty by the courts of destroying public documents and violating the constitutional rights of a Baptist church. He is still in office and no one has investigated. He is suspected of rigging bids for purchase and rental of certain Town properties. Again, no investigations. This proposed law will only be meaningful if the County, the State and perhaps even the Feds do their jobs in keeping better oversight and actually conducting investigations. What's going on in Greenburgh is criminal and no one seems to care.

Have those that vote against this bill already committed a felony?

Nice to see a politician that has the concerns of ALL constiuents. The bill should have included a retroactive clause for those previously convicted as well as removing all benefits as well. I would hope the Democrate controlled assembly will pass this with alacrity and the Senate will follow. Will CUOMO sign it??? That's another story!!

Let's hope it passes. The problem here in Mount Vernon is that too many of the felons have yet to be convicted.