As New York Governor Andrew Cuomo was introducing a measure to crack down on political corruption Tuesday, a local legislator in the Hudson Valley started work on a proposal for his county, one he hopes becomes law on the state level as well.
Rockland County Legislator Ed Day, a Republican, is sponsoring a resolution urging state legislators to move forward with a Senate and Assembly bill that would amend the state constitution to authorize the forfeiture of retirement benefits earned during the term of office of a New York elected official convicted of a public corruption felony.
He refers to former Democratic State Comptroller Alan Hevesi, who was convicted in a pay-to-play pension-fund scandal. Democratic State Senator Cecilia Tkaczyk says she supports the Senate bill sponsored by Republican Carl Marcellino.
Meanwhile, Day, who is planning a run for Rockland County Executive in November, says he will not wait for state legislators, and wants Rockland to move forward with its own law.
The effort comes after bribery charges were filed against the mayor and deputy mayor of the Rockland County Village of Spring Valley in an alleged real-estate development scheme with ties to state Senator Malcolm Smith, who along with three others, was charged in connection with an alleged plot to rig the New York City mayoral race.
Day says his resolutions are being scheduled for committee review. Then committee members would have to approve the resolutions for them to continue through the legislature. As for whether he has support for his resolutions, he says legislators have not really had time to review them, though he expects broad support.
A spokesman for Republican Rockland County Executive Scott Vanderhoef says he has not decided if the ramifications of the proposed law are in the best interest of the public at this point. Vanderhoef announced last year he would not seek a sixth four-year term. County Legislator Day is the only Republican so far to formally announce a run. Calls to other Rockland legislators were not returned in time for this broadcast.