Issues: Ethics

Leading the Way on Ethics Reform

You don’t need to be an expert in state government to know that our ethics laws have been in sore need of an overhaul.  That’s why I've worked since the day I took office to craft legislation that will give ethics enforcement real teeth. 

I have worked hand in hand with civic advocates to draft an ethics package that will create more independent oversight of ethics, force legislators to disclose their business dealings with lobbyists, and make more detailed information about legislators’ finances available to the public.

December 10, 2009

Filling 'The Bruno Gap'

By Elizabeth Benjamin

Hoping to capitalize on the call for ethics reform that followed the guilty verdict in ex-Senate Majority Leader Joe Bruno's trial, Sens. Dan Squadron and Eric Schneiderman are circulating a new bill to close what Squadron dubbed the "Bruno gap".

The bill, which comes on top of a comprehensive reform package already being negotiated between the Senate and Assembly, would "explicitly" prohibit mixing state business and private business...

December 9, 2009

Bruno Convictions May Spur Ethics Reform in Albany

By Karen DeWitt

Feature article on WNYC Radio

NEW YORK, NY December 09, 2009 —Albany may approve ethics reforms, now that former Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno has been convicted on federal corruption charges. Karen DeWitt reports from Albany.

December 9, 2009

Conviction offers material for state ethics law reform

By James Odato

ALBANY — The conviction of former state Sen. Joseph L. Bruno gives several lawmakers and government reform advocates plenty of material as they seek ethics and disclosure law amendments, they said.

Even friends, who reacted Monday with disappointment over the conviction, noted the case has stirred an Albany debate on what part-time lawmakers can and cannot do to earn outside income.

December 8, 2009

In Albany, a Legislature Indifferent, if Not Averse, to Ethics Rules

By Danny Hakim

ALBANY — Here is a lesson learned from the conviction on Monday of Joseph L. Bruno, the former Senate majority leader, on two federal corruption charges.

New York State’s ethics laws do not do much to deter corruption. Rather, they often enable it and even help conceal it from the public.

Thus it was left to the federal government to use a controversial “theft of honest services” law that is facing a Supreme Court challenge to prosecute what was essentially a state corruption case.

December 7, 2009

Statement by State Senator Daniel Squadron on Bruno trial verdict

Today's events don't change what we've known all along -- we need stronger state laws to oversee governmental ethics.  We are pushing to pass comprehensive ethics reform now, so we can give New Yorkers reason to have a renewed faith in our state government.  The federal courts should not be the only venue that addresses accusations of wrongdoing; we must fill the "Bruno Gap" in our state laws.

December 7, 2009

Squadron Remains Hopeful For Ethics Reform

Feature article found in The Lo-Down

Jurors in Albany are beginning a third day of deliberations in the federal corruption trial of former Senate Majority Leader Joe Bruno. As The Daily News pointed out the other day, the case has "sparked a new round of talks on ethics reform."  Our own state senator, Daniel Squadron, is at the center of the fight for more transparency in New York's ethics law.

December 1, 2009

Cleaning Up Albany

New York’s campaign finance system ranks among the nation’s worst. With gaping loopholes, sky-high contribution limits, lax enforcement, and no statewide public funding program – this failed system is in desperate need of reform.

November 30, 2009

Joe Bruno corruption case sparks talks on ethics reform

By Kenneth Lovett

Feature article in The Daily News

ALBANY - The Joe Bruno federal corruption trial has sparked a new round of talks on ethics reform, the Daily News has learned.

Sens. Eric Schneiderman (D-Manhattan) and Daniel Squadron (D-Brooklyn) have quietly been circulating a bill to overhaul the state's porous ethics law.

"Out of crisis comes ... opportunity," Schneiderman said, also crediting The News' "State of Shame" series.

November 25, 2009

Bigger, Better Ethics Bill?

By Elizabeth Benjamin

Feature article in The Daily Politics

Good government advocates today decried the lack of action on ethics reform on the extraordinary session agenda, but also sounded a hopeful note that behind-the-scenes negotiations are underway to strengthen a bill passed by the Assembly earlier this year.

November 17, 2009
November 16, 2009

Public Meeting Tuesday in Albany Regarding Expansion of Legislative Television Channel

Contact: Assembly- Kevin Frazier (518)455-4474                 For Immediate Release:

               Senate- Greg Meyer (212)828-5829                          November 13, 2009

November 13, 2009

Filling ethics law gap

By  James M. Odato

Feature article in the Times Union

ALBANY -- Sen. John Flanagan operates ASJ Consulting, but don't expect the Long Island lawyer to discuss the business.

He won't return phone calls inquiring about ethics disclosure requirements.

Like former Sen. Joseph L. Bruno, who claims he disclosed what he believed was necessary on state ethics forms, Flanagan, R-East Northport, is among 10 state lawmakers whose households benefit from consulting income.

November 4, 2009

Bruno Trial Recalls Ethics Bill Albany Shot Down in September

By Elizabeth Dwoskin

Featrue article in The Village Voice

Legislators have been quick to condemn wrongdoing in the run-up to the trial of former State Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno, who was indicted on corruption charges in January. But let's not forget that earlier this fall, Senate Republicans unanimously shot down a bill that would have gone a long way towards stopping corrupt politicians from committing the sorts of crimes of which Bruno is accused.

November 3, 2009

Closing the Bruno gap

By Casey Seiler

Feature article in the Times Union

State Sen. Daniel Squadron says the ethics package introduced by Democrats will close the “Bruno gap” in the state’s disclosure laws. This is the same package that failed to pass in September due to (pick one) Democratic partisan game-playing/Republican intransigence/both.

November 3, 2009

Squadron Resumes Push for Ethics Bill

Feature article in The Lo-Down


We just received a news release from State Senator Daniel Squadron's office detailing "how the ethics reform package he sponsors with Senate Majority Conference Leader John L. Sampson would help prevent the kind of alleged ethical misconduct for which former Senate Majority Leader Joseph L. Bruno is on trial."

Among the provisions highlighted:

November 3, 2009

Senator Flanagan Appointed as a Member of the Monserrate Committee

Senate Republican Leader Dean Skelos today named Senator John Flanagan (2nd Senate District) as a member of the New York State Senate special committee that will investigate the matter regarding Senator Hiram Monserrate.  

October 22, 2009


Senate Republican Leader Dean Skelos today announced members of his conference to serve on the committee that will investigate the matter regarding Senator Hiram Monserrate.

Members of the Republican Conference appointed by Senator Skelos include Senator Andrew Lanza (R-I, Staten Island), a former Chair of the Senate Ethics Committee, Senator John Flanagan (R-C-I, East Northport), a former Chair of the Senate Ethics Committee, Senator James Alesi (R-C-I, Perinton), a former Chair of the Senate Ethics Committee and Senator Cathy Young (R-I-C, Olean).

October 21, 2009

Statement From Senate Majority Conference Leader John L. Sampson

Accusations against public officials are of the utmost concern to everyone in a just and civil society and I take them very seriously.  A court of law has now ruled and we respect the decision rendered by the justice system. The leaders of our conference are discussing the potential for further disciplinary action by the Senate and will comment further once a determination has been reached. 

October 15, 2009


Governor Paterson has signed into law, S. 4962-B, Senator Suzi Oppenheimer’s bill  significantly updating New York state laws regarding the euthanasia of animals.  The measure bans the euthanasia of animals by lethal gassing and ensures that animal euthanasia is performed in the most humane manner possible.

October 14, 2009
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