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Hawley doesn’t support police lights and sirens for Cuomo’s top staff

Posted 5 May 2015 at 12:00 am

Press Release, State Assemblyman Steve Hawley

Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R-Batavia) commented on the new emergency regulation that will allow Gov. Cuomo and the upper echelon of his administration to use police lights and sirens on their personal vehicles.

Hawley said this new privilege has the potential for abuse and creates an elitist mentality where high-ranking officials in the governor’s administration are given too much power to circumvent the law even on their off hours.

“It is unnecessary for the governor and his top aides to be awarded the ability to sidestep basic traffic requirements and speed limits even when off duty,” Hawley said. “I can’t imagine too many situations where the commissioner of environmental conservation or secretary to Gov. Cuomo would be ‘involved in emergency operations.’ There is definitely a high potential for abuse because ’emergency operations’ could be used in a variety of contexts.”

Many top state officials, including Gov. Cuomo and Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul, already travel with state police protection but the new regulation would allow police lights and sirens to be installed on their personal vehicles.

“I am concerned that such disregard for traffic laws will put other drivers and bystanders in danger,” Hawley said. “This is another example of how the governor’s office thinks the law does not apply to them and will expand executive power without properly vetting and debating it first.”