ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - Gov. Andrew Cuomo has proposed legislation to give state prosecutors more power to combat public corruption.
The "Public Trust Act" he wants to see enacted this year would create new crimes and increase penalties for violating existing anti-corruption laws.
The package of measures announced Tuesday would establish the new crimes bribing a public official, scheming to corrupt the government, and failing to report incidents of public corruption.
Politicians could face a misdemeanor charge for failing to report corruption by a colleague, a new and novel approach to combating decades of corruption in New York politics.
U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said last week that government corruption is rampant in Albany.
Two politicians were arrested last week, and a third resigned, amid two bribery cases brought by Bharara.
New York State Senator Malcolm Smith was arrested as part of a public corruption probe, in an alleged plot
to rig the New York City mayor's race.
Bronx Assemblyman Eric Stevenson was charged with various federal crimes, after Bharara and Bronx County District Attorney Robert Johnson say he
drafted and sponsored legislation in exchange for more than $22,000 in
cash and campaign contributions. State Assemblyman Nelson Castro admitted to acting as an informant in the investigation and resigned after the charges were announced.
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