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Hawley responds to newspaper claim that he’s ‘enemy of reform’

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 14 February 2015 at 12:00 am

Assemblyman Steve Hawley

The New York Daily News has called State Assemblyman Steve Hawley, R-Batavia, an “Enemy of Reform.” Hawley is among a small minority of state legislators, 16 out of the 213 in Albany, who earn $100,000 annually or more in outside income, on top of the $79,500 in base salary as a state legislator.

The Daily News say those legislators are not reporting the sources of that outside income.

“It is long past time for the 197 members of the Assembly and Senate who do not make more than $100,000 in outside income to tell the 16 Enemies of Reform to go to hell,” according to a Daily News editorial on Feb. 9. (Click here to see “Enemies of Reform in the State Legislature.”)

Most of the 16 legislator with outside income at $100,000 or more are attorneys, including Michael Ranzenhofer, whose district includes Genesee County, and pieces of Erie and Monroe counties.

Hawley owns an insurance company in Batavia. He said he was one of only two legislators subpoenaed as part of the Moreland Commission on public corruption to provide a full list of clients and his source of outside income. He was found by the commission to not be using his public office for personal gain.

“I have and always will be an unwavering proponent of stringent ethics reform,” Hawley said in a statement. “I sponsor legislation that would strip corrupt politicians of their pensions and retirement benefits. I also support the Public Officers Accountability Act, which would institute term limits for legislative leaders, restrict the use of campaign money, and ban corrupt officials from running for future office.

“I am an honest representative of the people of New York and work 80 hours a week between growing and operating my small business and representing my district in Albany. The chance to give back to my constituents and represent the families and businesses of Western New York is a distinct honor and means more to me than any monetary compensation I receive.

“I grew up working on our family farm and have grown my insurance business over the years from one employee to eight, while paying off the previous owner over a 10-year period. Additionally, I was one of only two officials to comply with the Moreland Commission’s investigations into outside income, and my office was found to have no financial, ethical or other conflicts of interest or infractions in December of 2013. Furthermore, I would comply with any other income disclosure requirements that may become law as part of this year’s budget.”