Public will vote to strip pensions of convicted politicians

Public will vote to strip pensions of convicted politicians

ALBANY, N.Y. (WIVB) — Lawmakers in Albany cleared the final hurdle this week in providing the public the opportunity to strip politicans convicted of corruption of their pensions.

The votes Monday at the state capital were supported nearly unanimously and by both Democrats and Republicans.

These are the latest moves after the twin convictions last year of former Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos and Assembly Speaker
State Assemblyman Michael Kearns, one of the bill’s co-sponsors, said the legislation closes loopholes for legislators convicted of bribes or theft in office, but are still able to collect a pension upon retirement.

If approved, the law would apply to politicians at the local, county and state level. It would not, however, apply to others who collect state pensions, like members of law enforcement, Kearns said.

“The public office is a public trust. And if you breech that trust, you should be held accountable,” Kearns said. “This is a very important vote that will definitely hold elected officials accountable to the public. If you are an elected official and you commit a crime you will not be able to get your pension anymore. So I think it was very important that the public have the opportunity to vote on this measure in November.”

Both Skelos and Silver were convicted and sentenced on separate corruption cases. Both are appealing those convictions, and Silver remains free pending the appeal.

The governor is expected to sign the legislation this session, and it’s set to appear before voters in November, Kearns said.

Source: Buffalo New York’s Latest News
Public will vote to strip pensions of convicted politicians

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