State Senator Tony Avella introduced legislation on Thursday to bar elected officials who were convicted of felonies from collecting pensions accrued during or after the date of their crime.
The bill would still allow those elected officials to collect pensions amassed before the criminal conduct was committed.
“Allowing convicted felons to collect five or six-figure pensions at the expense of the State ruins the very integrity of this legislative body,” Avella said. “My bill, which is part of my ethics reform package, fixes this oversight and, I think, very fairly draws a line in the sand: If you’ve committed a felony, the pension which you have accumulated since you’ve broken the law becomes forfeit.”
The legislation comes as part of an ethics reform package Avella announced earlier in the year. His former colleague, former Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos, was convicted on federal corruption charges last year. Former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver was also convicted on corruption charges.
Both will still collect a “hefty” pension, according to Avella’s office, including $95,000 this year for Skelos.