State Legislators pass pension ethics reform

Posted at 6:43 PM, Jan 30, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-30 18:43:55-05

The New York State Legislature has passed legislation that would amend the New York State Constitution to allow the state to reduce or revoke the pension of a public officer that has been convicted of a felony related to his or her official duties.

The measure was passed on Monday. It will now be put on the ballot in November for New York state voters to approve.

Under the plan, if a public officer is convicted of a felony directly related to his or her duties, they could have their pension reduced or completely revoked following notice and a court hearing.

According to the Legislature, the court's decision to reduce or revoke pension benefits would consider factors such as the severity of the crime and whether a reduction might be proportionate to the offense.

Public officers include elected officials, direct gubernatorial appointees, municipal managers, department heads, chief fiscal officers and policy-makers.

The proposal would also allow the court to order pension benefits to be paid to an innocent spouse, minor dependents or other dependent family members after consideration of their financial needs and resources.