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Lawmakers react to Boyland conviction
Assemblyman John McDonald of Cohoes is among those expressing dismay that a colleague in the Assembly was charged in the first place. "I hope it's the last time we ever hear about this from a public official in the state legislature," says the former Cohoes mayor.
"There's been a spate of them over the last ten or fifteen years. When you're elected to public office it's the highest privilege you could have. To betray that trust is extremely troubling. I hope this closes another chapter in a very ugly book of public corruption and I hope that there are no new chapters to come after this."
Assemblywoman Patricia Fahy agreed, saying a bill she and every other freshman member co-sponsor is designed, in part, to send a message that legislators won't tolerate corrupt members convicted of felonies involvintg a breach of the public trust. Under the bill, any such member would lose his pension. "That's a big step," Fahy says. "That didn't sit well with some members because pensions are a little bit sacred, they're hard-earned, they can impact a family. I think we are trying to set a different tone. I hope we all will. We need to rebuild the public trust."
Republican Assemblyman Steve McLaughlin wrote to Boyland, and to the governor and attorney general more than two years ago calling for Boyland's resignation following publicity about Boyland receiving per diem payments for days when he was not in Albany.
"It's good," McLaughlin said of Boyland's conviction. "Justice has been served, finally."