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Cuomo Discusses Initiatives To Strip Corrupt Lawmakers Of Pensions

U.S. Attorney Moves To Strip Dirty Lawmakers Of Retirement Pay
Gov. Andrew Cuomo (credit: governor.ny.gov)

Gov. Andrew Cuomo (credit: governor.ny.gov)

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Stripping politicians convicted of corruption of their pensions is not easy, Gov. Andrew Cuomo says, but initiatives are in place to change that.

The governor noted in an interview with WCBS 880’s Marla Diamond on Wednesday that past pensions are protected under the state constitution. But under new rules for legislators elected after 2011, “part of the conditions of their pension package will be, if they commit a felony, they’ll lose that pension,” Cuomo said.

U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara, however, moved Tuesday to pursue the pensions of corrupt lawmakers who are not grandfathered in, using federal forfeiture rules. The office filing comes in the case against Democratic state Sen. Malcolm Smith of Queens, whose accused of scheming with officials in New York City and Rockland County to raise funds for his one-time mayoral campaign.

On Tuesday, Bharara told the state’s new Commission to Investigate Public Corruption that corruption in New York “appears rampant.”

“Convicted politicians should not grow old comfortably cushioned by a pension paid for by the very people they betrayed,” he said.

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