Manhattan (WALK) - Would it surprise you to hear that corruption is rampant at all levels of government in New York State, and in both major political parties?
That was the testimony from a U.S. Attorney who spoke yesterday before Governor Cuomo's anti-corruption panel. Preet Bharara also said that his office has adopted a new policy: to attempt to take away the guaranteed public pensions of officials who are convicted of corruption charges. Bharara pointed out that public pensions are funded by taxpayers, who are the victims in cases of corruption by politicians and other public officials.
Bharara said that his office filed papers yesterday to include pensions as part of the property defendants would have to forfeit if convicted in a state corruption case. One case involves onetime State Senate Majority Leader Malcolm Smith and others who are accused of trying to rig the New York City mayoral primary. Another involves an assemblyman from the Bronx who allegedly proposed legislation to protect adult day-care businesses in exchange for bribes.
Tuesday's hearing in Manhattan was the first of several which will be held by the Moreland Commission to Investigate Public Corruption. The commission, launched by Gov. Cuomo, is tasked with investigating potential violations of state election laws and making recommendations to change the system. Its members include Nassau District Attorney Kathleen Rice and former Suffolk Deputy County Executive Regina Calcaterra.
Photo: Eugene Pivovarov