Those are just a few of the names on the list of lawmakers who have resigned amid allegations of wrongdoing while in public office. Yet, all are currently collecting a pension, state records show. Now, former N.Y.S. Attorney General, Eric Schneiderman stands to join them.
Monday, Schneiderman resigned after an article in "The New Yorker" told the story of four women, all of whom accused him of physical abuse. Schneiderman denied the allegations, but stepped down within hours of the publication.
A law passed by New York voters in 2017 does aim to prevent disgraced politicians from collecting a state pension. It allows a judge to strip public officials of their pension if they’re convicted of a felony. However, it doesn’t penalize lawmakers who resign for conduct unbecoming, or misdemeanor offenses.
Schneiderman isn’t facing any criminal charges.
There’s another loophole with the law. It didn’t go into effect until January 1, 2018. So, any lawmakers convicted prior to 2018, like Silver, for example, were grandfathered into the state’s retirement system.
More than 30 lawmakers have resigned or accused of wrongdoing in the past decade. The following list shows the western New York and state officials along with their pension benefit:
Dennis Gabryszak (former state assemblyman): $51,268
Alan Hevesi (former NYS Comptroller): $126,494
George Maziarz (former state senator): $80,815
Sheldon Silver (former Assembly Speaker): $79,223
Dean Skelos (former Senate leader): $95,832
It’s still unclear how much Schneiderman stands to collect. He served in the NYS Assembly from 1987-1988, the Senate from 1999-2010, and was elected A.G. in 2010. He made $151,084 in 2018.
Solicitor General Barbara Underwood was appointed acting A.G. The legislature could choose an interim replacement ahead of the November election.