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Saturday, July 26, 2014
Guest Column
New York State’s hideous culture of corruption
By Assemblyman Brian Curran
Assemblyman Brian Curran

The rampant outbreak of corruption, indictments and arrests of elected officials throughout New York State has been rooted in the New York State Legislature.  It unfortunately speaks to a hideous culture of corruption entrenched in Albany and localities, most notably in New York City .  Sadly, the deafening silence from most New York State elected officials is an indictment of the unfortunate political culture that has grown and prospered over the years..

      Public service was once an honorable pursuit in the Empire State; it’s been tarnished with the prevalence of corruption, fraud and self-serving individuals taking advantage of their political positions.  When this occurs on the public dime, not only is it worse, but it also shatters the public trust.

  As Ranking Member of the New York State Assembly Committee on Ethics and Guidance, it’s my job to resolve facts on cases brought in front of us.  Unfortunately, where there is criminality involved, cases first proceed through the criminal justice system.  But there is no warm place in any reasonable person’s heart for an elected official – someone entrusted to work tirelessly on behalf of the honest, hard-working people of their district – guilty of crimes or wrongdoings.  The guilty besmirch the hard work that many of us do on all levels of government – state, county, town, village and others.

  The citizens of New York deserve answers that are not mired in political intrigue or spin, cloaked in legal technicalities or coded language or provided to them piecemeal by the whim of those who hold state elected or political leadership positions.

  It is time to put an end to the despicable practices of public corruption, graft and greed, which, unfortunately, too many politicians treat as the normal way of doing business.

New York State is mocked nationally for perpetuating a “pay-to-play” and “show-me-the-money” culture. While New York is recognized for its position, dead last, in tax- and business-friendly environments, it continues to be rocked by self-serving politicians on different levels of government taking bribes and committing fraud to line their own pockets, often while their own communities suffer.

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