Senator Skelos And Attorney General Cuomo To Hold Hearing On Long Island

 

New York State Senate Deputy Majority Leader Dean G. Skelos (R-Rockville Centre) today announced that he, along with Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo and members of the Senate and Assembly, will hold a public hearing on employment arrangements at Long Island school districts as part of a statewide investigation into pension fraud in New York’s school districts, local governments, and special districts.  The hearing at SUNY Farmingdale on Thursday, May 22, 2008 from 10 am to 12 pm.

“Taxpayers have the right to expect that every penny of their school taxes is spent in the classroom,” said Senator Skelos. “Through this public hearing with Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, we will have an opportunity to determine the extent to which the system was abused and develop legislation necessary to address the problem.”

Attorney General Cuomo is investigating the practice of school districts permitting employees to “double dip,” allowing them to earn both salaries and pensions simultaneously. The Attorney General’s office will now be examining whether this is a proper use of public funds, whether these practices and their implementation violate existing laws and regulations, and whether existing law needs to be clarified as to these practices.

“New Yorkers need to know that their tax dollars are not being wasted on state benefits for those who do not deserve them,” said Attorney General Cuomo. “We are expanding our investigation to determine whether ‘double dippers’ engaged in any fraudulent activities and we are holding a public hearing to shine a light on questionable employment practices in our school districts. The fraud that this investigation has already uncovered is inexcusable, and it’s going to end now.”

Senator Skelos is asking individuals with knowledge of any questionable arrangements between any BOCES, local governments, or school districts and their outside professionals to contact the Attorney General’s office Public Integrity Bureau by telephone at 212-416-8090 or by e-mail at public.integrity@oag.state.ny.us.

####