When we first heard about several prominent former NY lawmakers still receiving their taxpayer-funded pensions, despite criminal convictions, we were shocked at how nonchalant and entitled everyone seemed about it. But yesterday, State Controller Thomas DiNapoli told the News that he plans to publicly push to put an end to these financial shenanigans. "We don't have anything now that's a deterrent. We need to do something to build in some kind of penalty to get people to think twice before they do some of those things," DiNapoli said a day-late and a dollar-short.
After years of opposing such laws, DiNapoli now believes that there is a need for a law that bars politicians busted on felony corruption charges from getting their pensions. Previously, DiNapoli passed the buck, saying that he didn't have the authority to withhold pension payments, seemingly content to let the status quo stand. But he said the constant tsunami of corrupt NY pol's getting indicted and censured, including his predecessor Alan Hevesi, led to a change of heart. But why now, we wonder, when Hevesi and the others have been doing this for years? What was the straw that broke the pension camel's back? Perhaps it was our favorite former Bronxchester State Senator, that albatross of the Senate, Pedro Espada, who recently applied for his pension the day before he was indicted for embezzling millions.