With Yet Another Albany Official in Handcuffs, Kennedy Says Time for Stronger Ethics Laws is Now
State Sen. John Sampson charged today with embezzlement, obstruction of justice, witness tampering
Kennedy: Immediate action is needed to reform state government and clean up Albany. There’s no time for delay, and there is no room for excuses.
ALBANY, N.Y. – Senator Tim Kennedy, D-Buffalo, says Albany needs to immediately get to work on stronger laws to prevent public corruption. With another state official now facing serious criminal charges, Kennedy is urging swift action on legislation to stiffen penalties against corruption and to clean up Albany.
“Yet another Albany politician is facing serious criminal charges. This Capitol crime spree is intolerable, and it needs to end now,” Kennedy said. “Western New Yorkers have had enough of the corruption and the violation of their trust. Swift action is needed to reform state government and ensure Albany is cleaned up once and for all. There’s no time for delay, and there is no room for excuses.”
In recent weeks, Senator Kennedy and several of his colleagues have proposed steps to combat public corruption. In addition to reforms proposed by Governor Andrew Cuomo, Senator Kennedy is urging the State Legislature to immediately take up provisions that would:
- Retroactively strip pension benefits from any state or local official convicted of crimes involving a breach of public trust. Kennedy previously shed light on the fact that the state spends about $600,000 annually on pensions for corrupt state officials.
- Enact comprehensive campaign finance reform that includes reduced donor limits, stronger enforcement from the Board of Elections and fair elections with publicly-financed matching contributions.
- Institute harsher penalties for the misuse of public funds, acts of public corruption or bribery schemes.
- Outlaw the use of campaign money for criminal defense.
- Strengthen the regulations regarding the use of campaign money.
- Require elected officials to post campaign donation information on their websites.
“Those individuals who have so egregiously violated the public’s trust need to resign, and from this point forward, the Legislature must work harder than ever to push for even stronger laws to root out corruption and clean up Albany," Kennedy added. "I urge my colleagues in government to join me in immediate pursuit of an aggressive anti-corruption agenda.”
Senator Timothy M. Kennedy represents the New York State Senate’s 63rd District, which is comprised of the town of Cheektowaga, the city of Lackawanna and nearly all of the city of Buffalo. More information is available at http://kennedy.nysenate.gov.