Prosecutor: Corruption in New York State ‘Rampant’
In related news, water found to be extremely wet.
United States attorney Preet Bharara went before a new state corruption committee and declared that corruption in New York politics is “rampant.”
Via the Associated Press:
U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara told a new state commission Tuesday that corruption in New York politics has created a “show-me-the-money culture” that’s permeating state and local officials, both Democrats and Republicans, and has reached intolerable proportions.
“Public corruption, based on all evidence, appears rampant,” Bharara told the Commission to Investigate Public Corruption at its first public hearing. “And the ranks of those convicted in office have swelled to absolutely unacceptable levels.”
Bharara did not stop at stating the obvious however…
Via the New York Times:
Any public officials convicted of federal corruption charges could lose their government pension under new policies announced on Tuesday night by the top federal prosecutor in Manhattan.
The policies, aimed at ending the longstanding practice of jailed politicians continuing to collect public money, were detailed by Preet Bharara, the United States attorney for the Southern District of New York, at the first public hearing of the Moreland Commission to Investigate Public Corruption. The 25-member panel was established in July by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo to address what has been widely decried as a corruption crisis in Albany and other political spheres in New York State.
Mr. Bharara said that as part of the initiative, prosecutors in his office filed court papers on Monday in two separate corruption cases giving notice that they were adding the pensions of two state senators, a city councilman and two other officials to the list of property subject to forfeiture if the officials are convicted. Any forfeiture action against a convicted official’s pension would require judicial approval.
Mr. Bharara called it “a galling injustice” that corrupt officials can “draw a publicly funded pension” until their “dying day.”
Forfeiting pensions is certainly a reasonable proposal, but I’m not sure how well these new procedures will hold up with NY Democrats willing to shield each other from the law.
Assemblyman Steve McLaughlin has long championed the tactic of going after pensions in his many calls to “drain the swamp” of corrupt politicians.