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State of New York vs. COVID-19 - Governor Andrew M. Cuomo periodically updates New Yorkers on the state's progress during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The latest reports of the number of new cases, the percentage of tests that were positive and many other relevant data points concerning COVID-19 are available at forward.ny.gov.

N.B. §22 of the New York State's General Construction Law, in pertinent part, provides that “Whenever words of the masculine or feminine gender appear in any law, rule or regulation, unless the sense of the sentence indicates otherwise, they shall be deemed to refer to both male or female persons.” NYPPL applies this protocol to individuals referred to in a decision self-identifying as LGBTQA+.

September 11, 2020

Former municipal official found guilt of " Corrupting the Government in the First Degree"

On September 10, 2020, New York State Attorney General Letitia James and New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli announced the sentencing of the former City of Mount Vernon Corporation Counsel Lawrence Porcari for abusing his position as a public official to engage in a scheme that defrauded the Mount Vernon Board of Water Supply of more than $300,000 to pay the personal legal expenses of the former Mount Vernon Mayor Richard Thomas and a public relations firm.* 

The jury found Mr. Porcari guilty of Corrupting the Government in the First Degree, a Class B felony; Grand Larceny in the Second Degree as a Crime of Public Corruption, a Class B felony; Defrauding the Government, a Class E felony; and other offenses.

Attorney General James said that “Any public official who lies, cheats, or defrauds New Yorkers must be held accountable to the fullest extent of the law ... public servants have a responsibility to serve with transparency, integrity, and respect for the state and all of its people. I thank Comptroller Tom DiNapoli for his partnership and continued unwavering commitment to rooting out corruption in all its forms.”

A press release issued by  Kate Gurnett of the Office of the State Comptroller notes that "Since 2011, the Attorney General and State Comptroller offices have worked together to fight corruption through their Joint Task Force on Public Integrity. They have brought charges against dozens of individuals implicated in public corruption schemes around the state — resulting in the return of more than $11 million in restitution to taxpayers through these convictions."

The Comptroller’s investigation was handled by Comptroller DiNapoli’s Division of Investigations and was handled by Investigator Angel LaPorte, under the supervision of Deputy Chief Investigator John McManus and Supervising Investigator Sylvia Rivera, and the overall supervision of Investigation Division Chief Oliver Pu-Folkes. Trial presentation assistance was provided by IT Specialist Matthew Rosenberg. Assisting in the investigation and providing forensic auditing analysis was Forensic Auditor Andre Hartley, under the supervision of Deputy Chief Auditor Sandy Bizzarro. Also assisting for the Attorney General was Legal Support Analyst Rebecca Saber. 

The case was prosecuted by Assistant Attorney General Meagan Powers and Special Counsel Brian Weinberg of the Attorney General’s Public Integrity Bureau, under the supervision of Bureau Chief Travis Hill. The Criminal Justice Division is led by Chief Deputy Attorney General Jose Maldonado and supervised by First Deputy Attorney General Jennifer Levy. 

* Mr.Porcari was sentenced to 1-3 years in prison. However, Judge David Zuckerman has temporarily stayed the execution of Porcari’s sentence. A status hearing is scheduled for November 18, 2020.

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Since taking office in 2007, State Comptroller DiNapoli has been committed to fighting public corruption and encourages the public to help fight fraud and abuse. Allegations of fraud involving taxpayer money can be reported by calling the toll-free Fraud Hotline at 1-888-672-4555, by filing a complaint online at investigations@osc.ny.gov, or by mailing a complaint to: Office of the State Comptroller, Division of Investigations, 8th Floor, 110 State St., Albany, NY 12236.

 


Public Personnel Law E-books

The Discipline Book - A concise guide to disciplinary actions involving public employees in New York State set out in a 700 page e-book. For more information click on https://booklocker.com/books/5215.html

A Reasonable Disciplinary Penalty Under the Circumstances - A 442-page e-book focusing on determining an appropriate disciplinary penalty to be imposed on an employee in the public service in instances where the employee has been found guilty of misconduct or incompetence. Now available in two formats - as a large, paperback print edition and as an e-book. For more information click on http://booklocker.com/books/7401.html

The Layoff, Preferred List and Reinstatement Manual - A 645 page e-book reviewing the relevant laws, rules and regulations, and selected court and administrative decisions. For more information click on http://booklocker.com/books/5216.html

Disability Leave for fire, police and other public sector personnel - A 1098 page e-book focusing on disability benefits available to public officers and employees employed by New York State and its political subdivisions. For more information click on http://booklocker.com/books/3916.html