After Sheldon Silver’s conviction overturned, Hawley says ethics reform badly needed in Albany

Posted 18 July 2017 at 7:02 am

Press Release, State Assemblyman Steve Hawley

State Assemblyman Steve Hawley issued this statement on Monday after a federal appeals court overturned a conviction last week on corruption charges for former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver.

“The conviction of Sheldon Silver being overturned by the second Circuit Court is a textbook abandonment of the ethical values we all hold sacred.

“Albany has long had a storied history of corruption and this quagmire of a case is a perfect example why we need to fight against the entrenched network of favors and secret dealings that are in place at the capitol.

“I for one expect the retrial to address this and to make an example of Silver to show that this kind of behavior will no longer be tolerated in New York. It is past time for a new dawn of ethical practice and transparency in Albany.

“I have long been a proponent of sweeping ethics reforms, both resisting special interest groups from New York City and calling for increased transparency in Albany. This decision comes right on the heels of my criticisms of this year’s extraordinary session which was just another motivator to keep pushing for ethical reforms and a new dawn of transparency in our state government.

“It is with this in mind that I co-sponsor the Public Officer’s Accountability Act (A5864) the most comprehensive way to fight corruption. This bill enforces numerous protections against back door dealing and favor trading, such as the limitation of campaign funds to campaign activities and adding criminality to failure to report evidence of corruption. Among a myriad other tools provided within the bill, are the ways to restore our trust in our State Government.

“Next year’s session will be the primary arena to prevent actions like Silver’s from being repeated, stress ethics reform and focus on transparency. Moving forward against the kind of ethical breaches like Silver’s is something everyone can fight for and a rallying cry for those of us holding steadfast to our shared American ideals and values.”

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