Sens. Tedisco, Jordan call for criminalization of state open government violations

NY State Senator Jim Tedisco (R-Glenville) in August

NY State Senator Jim Tedisco (R-Glenville) in August

 As Gov. Andrew Cuomo faces backlash for his administration’s underreporting of pandemic-related nursing home deaths, two local lawmakers are calling for harsher penalties on officials who violate New York State’s Freedom of Information Law.

Sen. Jim Tedisco, R,C-Glenville, and Sen. Daphne Jordan, R,C-Halfmoon, proposed a bill Monday pushing for the criminalization of violating open government and records access laws. The proposal follows the revelation that the Cuomo administration underreported statewide long-term care resident deaths, which is revealed to be 15,000 in total since the start of the pandemic. Only 8,500 were previously reported. 

“This is public information, and people have a right to know what their government is doing on their behalf,” Tedisco said in a statement. “No governor or senior appointee should ever again be able to hide public information like the data related to the deaths of 15,000 nursing home residents without facing criminal penalties.”

The proposed bill would increase consequences for government officials that violate the Freedom of Information Law, beyond the current consequences of paying plaintiff’s legal fees if they lose a FOIL case. 

“Any state official — whether it’s Governor Cuomo, Health Commissioner Zucker, Secretary Melissa DeRosa, or anyone else — who knowingly violates FOIL requests and our open government law by refusing to disclose public information should face jail time,” Jordan said. “We also need to remove their indemnification to ensure that taxpayers aren’t paying the legal bills for an official’s malfeasance and gross dereliction of duty. Now, more than ever, there must be a thorough, independent investigation into this growing scandal so families can finally learn the truth and we can ensure that such a tragedy never happens again.”

Categories: Fulton Montgomery Schoharie, News, Saratoga County, Schenectady County

One Comment

David Bianchi

But, I did file a FOIL request at City Hall back when it occurred of when the City of Schenectady had ever refused or ordered a Tax payment returned . I never received an answer. Which could have also showed that I had been singled out and dealt with unfairly. Along with the woman that worked in the Tax department at City Hall for 35 years told me she had never seen in her 35 years of the city ever refusing a Tax payment.
My Attorney Glen Brownell back then told me to file the FOIL request because he doubts the City has ever done this to any except me.
My True story involves Barrett Street and City Hall with the now being built Barrett Village. To where my Tax payment was wrongfully/illegally ordered sent back by City Hall with the Mayor, then saying the payment was ordered sent back because I was not the property owner. It was said I was not allowed to make payments. When in fact there were several parcels involved . With me actually making the payment in full on seven vacant lots and only had a payment agreement on one other lot.
Not that it matters as much with my FOIL request because my story does not involve People dying.
My story is about Stolen Land with some Very Powerful Ones Involved!
This was after I was approached on two separate occasions by lawyers and asked if I wanted to sell them my Uncle’s/Mom’s property in which I had Power of Attorney of then. Both times of me saying, “No!” and even possible giving them a High price because I was not too interested in selling them the land because my Family and I had already invested in 17 apartments on Barrett St. and had future plans for my Mom’s property. Both times I was told by the lawyers that asked me if I wanted to sell them the property and with me telling them I really wasn’t interested in selling the land. (especially cheaply). I was told on both occasions by the lawyers after their request and my response, “That They Would Just Go Through the City and Take It!”
I wish there had been some where to go to get my case filed! Lord knows I tried!!!
Most of my story I posted on a local internet forum which you can find doing a google search, (Schenectady Gate).

Leave a Reply