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.
It is a debate Bruno once encouraged as he declared his innocence and claimed he was armed with legal opinions authorizing his work, although the trial proved he held just one, from the Legislative Ethics Committee, based on incomplete information about his activities.
...Others want to dwell on the matter. “Today’s events don’t change what we’ve known for a long time, that we need stronger ethics laws,” said Sen. Daniel Squadron, D-Brooklyn, who is pushing a bill already passed in the Assembly. “The federal court shouldn’t be the only venue that addresses accusations of wrongdoing.”
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