Lawmakers want arrested officials removed

    By: Phil Gregory

    Some New Jersey lawmakers are renewing their push for legislation that would force public officials out of office after they have been arrested.

    By: Phil Gregory 
    philgregorynews@gmail.com

    Secaucus Mayor Dennis Elwell resigned Tuesday. Elwell has been charged with accepting a bribe in return for help on a local building project. He’s the first elected official arrested in last week’s corruption probe to quit his post. Some New Jersey lawmakers are renewing their push for legislation that would force public officials out of office after they have been arrested.

    Listen:
    [audio: 090728pgamend.mp3]

    Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon is one of the Republican lawmakers urging approval of a proposed amendment to the state constitution that would require an indicted public official to immediately give up that position.

    Oscanlon: As soon as an indictment would happen they would leave office and be replaced with a temporary replacement. Leaving some room if someone is acquitted they’d be able to take their position back.

    O’Scanlon is also the sponsor of a measure that would require public officials convicted of corrupt activity to forfeit all of their pension and retirement benefits. He says there has been a reluctance among many members of the legislature to enact more ethics requirements, but he says the latest corrupt arrests have left the public disgusted.

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