Good Tuesday morning. Here’s a look at opinion content published today in The Journal News:
Vincent Leibell: Editorial
We comment on a report published Saturday, April 23 that detailed a letter sent by former state Sen. Vincent Leibell, who pleaded guilty to two federal corruption charges in December, to a judge who will sentence him. Leibell asked that, at his May 13 sentencing, he be dispatched to Iraq or Libya to help those nations rebuild. We write:
With all the hardship they have faced, the people of besieged Libya and war-scarred Iraq no doubt could use a knowing fixer or helping hand; nonetheless, the federal judge sentencing former state Sen. Vincent Leibell should not be the least bit confused about where Leibell is needed most — in New York, in prison, for the maximum the law allows. …
… The Libyans and Iraqis doubtless could use the help, nevermind their exhaustive experience with corrupt officials and institutions. But New Yorkers need Leibell more — behind bars — as an example to others who would abuse the public trust, violate their oaths of office, and deprive voters of honest services. On Dec. 6, Leibell pleaded guilty to tax evasion and a charge of obstruction of justice, after prosecutors said he extorted kickbacks from an attorney doing work for a nonprofit housing organization, and then was recorded urging the attorney to lie about the arrangement. At the time of his guilty pleas, Leibell had already quit the Legislature and was just weeks away from commencing his first term as Putnam county executive. Instead, he joined an ever-growing list of state lawmakers convicted of public corruption. Unfortunately for Leibell, and his letter-writing apologists, none received a sentence of nation-building — in Iraq, Libya or anyplace else.
Westchester County contracts: Commentary
Greenburgh Supervisor Paul Feiner weighs in on a Sunday report on Westchester County Board of Legislators Chairman Ken Jenkins, D-Yonkers, and a contract he awarded to a nonprofit at which his wife serves as a trustee. Feiner argues that Jenkins is not alone in awarding no-bid contracts and that abuse is rampant across county government.
Here’s a glance at what our colleagues are saying today:
Leibell’s delusions of grandeur: Editorial, Daily News
What’s going on at SUNY?: Editorial, Albany Times Union
Federal debt will fuel hard choices: Editorial, Poughkeepsie Journal
Toll to replace tax needs new alliance: Editorial, Times Herald-Record
Review hydrofracking: Kingston Daily Freeman
Update of U.S. aviation system needed: Editorial, Rochester Democrat and Chronicle