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This bill should be law. And it should go further. Public officials should also lose their pension benefits if they are convicted of felonies unrelated to official business. In fact, I'd even add misdemeanor convictions to the list. Why not? If a person who makes the law can't follow it, they deserve nothing in my eyes.
If a public official is found guilty of a felony, he or she still receives a taxpayer-funded pension. State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli is looking to change that. The Democrat proposed a bill today that would strip those convicted of job-related felonies of all retirement benefits.
DiNapoli said the move would be "a strong step toward rebuilding trust" with New Yorkers who've watched dozens of scandals unfold in Albany and at City Hall in recent years. The bill would also force the convicted public servant to pay a financial penalty. What do you say?
Should public officials convicted of a felony lose pension benefits? Should the penalty also apply to felonies that aren't related to official business? How else can lawmakers regain the trust of New Yorkers?
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I think this is a great idea. It would put money back in the coffers to be used wisely, cause politicians to think twice before committing felonies, and most of all, move towards rebuilding trust. It should be a local, state, and federal rule for all taxpayer elected politicians.
Deborah, from Fort Greene.
Yes! They should lose their pension and any other benefits if they are convicted of a felony. There should be consequences of their actions when they commit crimes other wise they will continue to do so due to the fact they have nothing to lose.
Anyone found guilty of a felon SHOULD NOT BE ALLOWED to collect a pension. All rights should be lost unless full restitution is made. A refund of their payment into the pension fund should be made to the family. That is it.
Jessica, Arden Heights
I don’t see why government or any other employee should lose their pension unless the crime that was committed involved their political activity.
If a politician steals a car, the crime is car theft and it has noting necessarily to do with the political position held. But if a politician steals money from a government fund that’s not only a regular crime of theft, but a violation of the rules of employment. The pension should be cancelled. As of the date of the crime, not the date of conviction.
Port Richmond, SI
IF YOU ARE A CIVIL SERVANT OR POLITICIAN, AND BETRAY THE PUBLIC TRUST, YOU SHOULD LOSE ALL YOUR PENSION AND BENEFITS. WHY ISN'T THAT A LAW? I FEEL FORENSIC ACCOUNTANTS SHOULD BE AUDITING THESE POLITICAL MOOKS AS OFTEN AS A RANDOM DRUG TEST WOULD BE ADMINISTERED, RANDOM AND AN ELEMENT OF SURPRISE. WHY WAIT UNTIL IT'S TOO LATE?
JOE, BAY TERRACE
if job-related, probably but absent fraud, why shouldnt they get what theyre entitled to, they wont spend it anyway their estate or family will and may be entirely innocent. I personally feel DeNapole is pandering and trying to out Cuomo, Cuomo.
i agree with the state Comptroller that convicted lawmakers of felonies should lose all pensions and I am sure the new governor will also have ideas of keeping them honest.
penny from Midwood.
I am guessing that whomever applies for a civil service job are given a background check besides fingerprinting, etc. What I think should be done is Cuomo should use himself as a good example and he should not have let this so called financial advisor that works and just happens to be a friend of Bloomberg be let off with an agreement of repaying just a small amount of our retirement money. What about Hevesi? That's a good example if there ever was one. This guy is a thief and a liar all rolled into one and from what I can remember he is collecting about three different pensions. You have drugs involved, thieves taking union funds and these are employees that work in the civil service system and they get away with it.
I think it's a great idea! Unfortunately it wouldn't apply to Monserrate, though, right? Although perhaps it could apply to that creep Espada. (I hope.) Maybe it should be, if you are convicted of a misdemeanor.
Still lovin' NY1,
Snowy in Sunnyside
Yes, there should be a law revoking the pension of any elected official who breaks the law and it should apply to every level of government. A law like that might help to keep them honest but good luck getting anything like that passed because every one of them has their hand in something questionable. Politicians are notorious for avoiding any legislation that will impact them directly unless it's raising their own salaries.
I am from Manhattan and I think this bill will be stuffed with pork. The public funds are a waste. We are at war between the public sector and private sector. We need to cut pensions in a very serious way.
The penalty for a NYC police officer who comes up positive on a random drug test for using marijuana, a violation of law punishable by a $25 fine, is termination and forfeiture of all pay, pension contributions, vacation time, and any other benefit. Do I think politicians should be held to a watered down version of this...of course, why hasn't this happened years ago.
John in Manhattan
The bill would work if it’s automatic when the crime is committed, in other words, no voting on whether to enact it by the politician’s friends, and NO exceptions.
Just to be clear, convicted politicians should lose all public contributions toward their pensions, not their own salary contributions.
Fair, and a long time coming.
Max in Queens
If elected officials will not pass legislation that directly impacts themselves, such losing one's pension if found guilty of job related felonies, sounds like there should be a referendum.
-Harlan from Inwood
The answe is so simple, not even debateable. They should be treated like anybody else that has commited this crime. No better. No less. No different
Punishment should be commensurate to the offense committed. But taking away pensions may be too punitive for some and lenient for others. Is this the answer to normalizing past anomaly in Albany?
Politics is unique as a public service and as such, should be held to the absolute highest moral and ethical standards--higher than the private sector. Also, why should Senators receive lifetime pensions after only 5 years of service? This is a pure waste of public tax money. And how about term limits for Congress?
Max in Queens
this is a no-brainer: hang 'em high! And on any felony.......the funds then should be used toward the betterment of the general public. AND we are not responsible for their families, either. No doubt a great deal of money has been socked away in a Canary Island account for their future anyway.
The question isn't should public officials lose their pensions if convicted
of a felony but "WHY DO THEY STILL HAVE A JOB?"
Convicted of ANY felony you're fired and you're pension is gone.
It is ridiculous that they remain in office. Our trust has been violated
by them, SEE YA!!!
Why has common sense become a question of debate?
YES THIS SHOULD BE A LAW IF A PUBLIC OFFICAL IS CONVICTED OF A FELONY HE SHOULD NOT COLLECT A PENSION
It sounds like a good idea, however, you must consider the family. They may rely on these funds for survival and should not be punished for the "sins of the father."
Tom DiNapoli is 100% on target, and his proposal is long overdue -- for too long, disgraced public officials have, in effect, thumbed their noses at the public they've betrayed.
This might also have a deterrent effect -- they might think longer and harder about betraying the public trust, with more at stake than their reputations if they are caught.
Upper West Side
The politicians charged with felonies would not LOSE their pensions; it would be Stolen from them. By paying into the system; they formed a legal contract with the state. If the state breaks the contract; we are now the criminals. We can seize their property or fine them. But, the comptroller should know these things...Hmmm. I need help understanding the reasoning behind this statement "a strong step towards rebuilding trust with New Yorkers". I wouldn't trust a state that would steal my pension. We should learn a lesson from Arizona. Laws made out of frustration are never good law.
I doubt if in my lifetime I will be able to trust any politician. Maybe if they only served one term in any elected office. Maybe if term limits applied to all political offices. Once they get on the public gravy train they don't want to get off. If they are convicted of a job related felony they should lose everything, pensions, medical benefits, etc. They should receive the same punishment as any policeman, fireman, or teacher. If the felony is not job related they should be removed from office but keep whatever they have earned. All elected or appointed politicians are public servants and. should be held to the same standard as civil servants. For example consider Treasury Secretary Tim Geitner(sic) it came to light he was behind on his income taxes. If he was an IRS employee he would have been fired. But since he was an obama elitist he was appointed. All civil servants whether appointed or hired should be held to the same standard.
That's All folks!
They should not only lose they're pension benefits but should also lose whatever they gained as a result of their "illegal" actions. A drug dealer loses homes, cars and everything obtained from monies made illegally. Politicians should not be given the ability to abuse their position knowing that even if they do jail time they still will be rewarded with a pension and still keep everything made through their abuse of power.