BREWSTER, NY- Senator Greg Ball (R, C-Westchester, Putnam, Dutchess) announced today his anti-public corruption legislative package, dubbed by some as the “Leibell Reforms,” which includes S4794, legislation creating new standards, strengthens ethics requirements and increases transparency regarding community projects grants, commonly known as “member-items,” as well as S3817 legislation requiring that pension rights be forfeited, when a public employee is convicted of certain crimes related to public employment.
The “Leibell Reforms” are outlined below:
S4794: creates the Public Corruption Prevention and Enforcement Act; increases penalties for violations relating to scheme to defraud the government, duty to provide faithful public services, bribery; increases penalties for financial disclosure violations by public officials; relates to community project grants; provides for an executive community projects fund; inspection of annual statements; election law provisions.
S3817: is calling for a loop hole in New York State social security law to be closed, which allows public employees who are convicted of crimes related to their offices, to still receive a state pension and retirement benefits. Senator Ball has proposed an amendment which would close this loophole requiring that pension rights be forfeited, when a public employee is convicted of certain crimes related to public employment.
In announcing the legislation, Senator Ball noted the long list of New York public officials who have been indicted in recent years. Ethics reform is an important issue for Senator Ball who sees corruption amongst public officials as costly and burdensome to tax payers. “These are common sense measures, that should have been passed years ago. Corrupt public officials should not be supported by the taxpayers they have defrauded. The state should not have to pay for someone who did not carry out lawfully the position they were trusted with.”
Senator Ball has been pushing for similar legislation since his days in the Assembly, and he has renewed his push on the news that former Senator Vincent Liebell was sentenced to 21 months in federal prison, after he pleaded guilty earlier this year to obstruction of justice and tax evasion. Senator Leibell formally occupied the 40th district Senate seat, now held by Ball.
Ball stated, “though limited, some public officials selfishly use their offices for personal gain, these anti-corruption safeguards will act to stem the corruption plaguing the public’s image of elected officials. It’s time to cleanup Albany’s playpen of money laundering.”