|SAME AS||SAME AS S02574-C|
|COSPNSR||Heastie, Peoples-Stokes, Aubry, Mosley, Gottfried, Gantt, Cook, Pretlow, Rosenthal L, Crespo, Weprin, Rodriguez, Quart, Kim, Pichardo, Walker, Seawright, Joyner, Blake, Jaffee, Abinanti, D'Urso, Jean-Pierre, Hyndman, Niou, Taylor, Vanel, Rivera, Arroyo, Zebrowski, Frontus, Cruz, Fernandez, De La Rosa, Epstein, Reyes, Richardson, O'Donnell, Simotas, Simon, Rozic, Hunter, Wright, Ortiz, Otis, Lentol, DenDekker, Barnwell, Bichotte, Glick, Magnarelli, Davila, Steck, Bronson, Carroll, Fahy, Jacobson, Lifton, McDonald, Nolan, Ramos, Rosenthal D, Thiele, Weinstein, Buchwald, Stirpe, Dinowitz, Lupardo|
|Add 70-b, Exec L|
|Establishes the office of special investigation within the office of the attorney general.|
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NEW YORK STATE ASSEMBLY
MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT OF LEGISLATION
submitted in accordance with Assembly Rule III, Sec 1(f)
BILL NUMBER: A1601c SPONSOR: Perry (MS)
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the executive law, in relation to creating an office of special investigation within the office of the attorney general   PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL: The bill is designed to enhance public confidence in the integrity of investigations and court proceedings in instances involving the death of a person caused by an act or omission by a police officer or peace offi- cer. The bill would authorize the attorney general to prosecute such cases and require the Office of Special Investigation to issue certain reports.   SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS: This bill adds § 70-b to the executive law to establish an Office of Special Investigation within the New York State Office of the Attorney General. The Office of Special Investigation would have investigative authority and criminal jurisdiction of any incident involving the death of a person caused by an act or omission by a police officer or a peace officer employed as a correction officer or official under CPL 2.10 (25) or contracted by an education, public health, social service, parks or housing agency. Where an investigation concludes that the death or matters relating to the death or investigation of the death involved criminal conduct, the Office would be empowered to prosecute any such alleged offenses. Should the Attorney General determine an incident does not meet the requirements for its jurisdiction, the Attorney General would notify the district attorney for the county in which the incident occurred. The Office of Special Investigation will issue, a public reports in such cases in which the Office declines to present evidence to a grand jury, and cases where a grand jury declines to return an indictment. The Office will also issue an annual report. The bill would take effect on April 1, 2021.   JUSTIFICATION: It is vital that the public have confidence that our criminal justice system is impartial and fair. This confidence must be borne not just of perception, but of reality. This bill would promote public confidence in several ways. It would remove a potential conflict of interest with respect to investigations in many instances involving the death of a person resulting from an act or omission by a police officer or peace officer. District attorneys work regularly and closely with police and peace officers in the investigation of alleged criminal acts. When an investi- gation involves the death of a person caused by a police officer or peace officer, it is reasonable to consider whether a district attorney can be impartial in investigating the facts and determining whether grand jury consideration is appropriate. This bill would establish an Office of Special Investigation within the Office of the Attorney General. The Office would investigate and, where appropriate, prosecute this limited class of cases in the same manner as a district attorney. In cases where the Office of the Attorney General would have a potential conflict of interest, a superior court in the jurisdiction where the matter would be tried would be authorized, under existing laws and inherent powers of the court, to appoint a special prosecuting attorney. Given the scope and purpose of this legislation, that attorney would have to be an independent and qualified attorney and not another elected or appointed official or prosecutor.   PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 2019: A.1601-A/S.2574-A Bailey - Referred to Rules 2018: A.5617/S.9168 - Passed Assembly / Referred to Rules 2017: A:5617 - Passed Assembly   FISCAL IMPLICATIONS FOR STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENTS: The bill may result in some increased costs to the state, and concom- itant savings for counties, as some prosecutions would be brought at state, rather than county, cost.   EFFECTIVE DATE: : The bill takes effect on April 1, 2021.
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STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 1601--C 2019-2020 Regular Sessions IN ASSEMBLY January 15, 2019 ___________ Introduced by M. of A. PERRY, MOSLEY, GOTTFRIED, GANTT, COOK, PRETLOW, PEOPLES-STOKES, L. ROSENTHAL, CRESPO, WEPRIN, RODRIGUEZ, QUART, KIM, PICHARDO, WALKER, BARRON, SEAWRIGHT, JOYNER, BLAKE, JAFFEE, ABINANTI, D'URSO, JEAN-PIERRE, HYNDMAN, NIOU, TAYLOR, VANEL, RIVERA, ARROYO, ZEBROWSKI, FRONTUS, CRUZ, AUBRY, FERNANDEZ, DE LA ROSA, EPSTEIN, REYES, RICHARDSON, O'DONNELL, SIMOTAS, SIMON, ROZIC, HUNTER, WRIGHT, ORTIZ, OTIS, LENTOL, DenDEKKER, BARNWELL, BICHOTTE, GLICK, MAGNARELLI, DAVILA, STECK -- Multi-Sponsored by -- M. of A. CARROLL -- read once and referred to the Committee on Codes -- committee discharged, bill amended, ordered reprinted as amended and recommitted to said commit- tee -- reported and referred to the Committee on Ways and Means -- recommitted to the Committee on Ways and Means in accordance with Assembly Rule 3, sec. 2 -- committee discharged, bill amended, ordered reprinted as amended and recommitted to said committee -- again reported from said committee with amendments, ordered reprinted as amended and recommitted to said committee AN ACT to amend the executive law, in relation to creating an office of special investigation within the office of the attorney general The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and Assem- bly, do enact as follows: 1 Section 1. The executive law is amended by adding a new section 70-b 2 to read as follows: 3 § 70-b. Office of special investigation. 1. There shall be established 4 within the office of the attorney general an office of special investi- 5 gation. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the office of 6 special investigation shall investigate and, if warranted, prosecute any 7 alleged criminal offense or offenses committed by a person, whether or 8 not formally on duty, who is a police officer, as defined in subdivision 9 thirty-four of section 1.20 of the criminal procedure law, or a peace 10 officer as defined in section 2.10 of the criminal procedure law, 11 provided that such peace officer is employed or contracted by an educa- EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD05660-22-0A. 1601--C 2 1 tion, public health, social service, parks, housing or corrections agen- 2 cy, or is a peace officer as defined in subdivision twenty-five of 3 section 2.10 of the criminal procedure law, concerning any incident in 4 which the death of a person, whether in custody or not, is caused by an 5 act or omission of such police officer or peace officer or in which the 6 attorney general determines there is a question as to whether the death 7 was in fact caused by an act or omission of such police officer or peace 8 officer. 9 2. The attorney general has investigative authority and criminal 10 jurisdiction under this section at the time of the death of the person 11 and the attorney general retains investigative authority and criminal 12 jurisdiction over the incident unless the attorney general determines 13 that such incident does not meet the requirements of this section. If 14 the attorney general determines the incident does not meet the require- 15 ments for the attorney general to have investigative authority and crim- 16 inal jurisdiction pursuant to this section, the attorney general shall, 17 as soon as practicable, provide written notice of such determination to 18 the district attorney for the county in which the incident occurred. 19 3. In connection with any particular incident encompassed by this 20 section, the attorney general shall conduct a full, reasoned and inde- 21 pendent investigation, including but not limited to: (a) gathering and 22 analyzing evidence; (b) conducting witness interviews; (c) reviewing and 23 commissioning any necessary investigative and scientific reports; and 24 (d) reviewing audio and video-recordings. The attorney general shall be 25 empowered to subpoena witnesses, compel their attendance, examine them 26 under oath before himself or herself or a magistrate and require that 27 any books, records, documents or papers relevant or material to the 28 inquiry be turned over to him or her for inspection, examination or 29 audit, pursuant to the civil practice law and rules, in connection with 30 such incident. 31 4. The attorney general shall have criminal jurisdiction over any 32 criminal conduct arising from any incident herein, and shall exercise 33 all of the powers and perform all of the duties with respect to such 34 actions or proceedings that a district attorney would otherwise be 35 authorized or required to exercise or perform, including all the powers 36 necessary to prosecute acts and omissions and alleged acts and omissions 37 to obstruct, hinder or interfere with any inquiry, prosecution, trial or 38 judgment arising from the incident. The criminal jurisdiction of the 39 office of special investigation shall displace and supersede the juris- 40 diction of the district attorney where the incident occurred; and such 41 district attorney shall only have the powers and duties reserved to him 42 or her in writing by the attorney general. 43 5. The attorney general shall designate a deputy attorney general for 44 special investigation to exercise the powers and duties of the office of 45 special investigation, who shall be in the exempt class of the civil 46 service. The deputy attorney general may designate deputies or assist- 47 ants, who shall be in the exempt class of the civil service, as neces- 48 sary and appropriate. The other employees of the office of special 49 investigation within the department of law, who are not otherwise 50 exempt, shall all be in the competitive class of the civil service and 51 shall be considered for purposes of article fourteen of the civil 52 service law to be public employees in the civil service of the state, 53 and shall be assigned to the appropriate collective bargaining unit. 54 Employees serving in positions in newly created titles shall be assigned 55 to the same collective bargaining units as they would have been assigned 56 to were such titles created prior to the establishment of the office ofA. 1601--C 3 1 special investigation within the department of law by this chapter. The 2 deputy attorney general for special investigation may appear and conduct 3 proceedings in person or by his or her deputy or assistant before any 4 court or grand jury in connection with proceedings under this section. 5 6. (a) For any incident under this section, the office of special 6 investigation shall issue a public report and post the report on its 7 website whenever the office of special investigation initiates an inves- 8 tigation and (i) the office of special investigation declines to present 9 evidence to a grand jury or (ii) the office of special investigation 10 does present evidence to a grand jury but the grand jury declines to 11 return indictment on any charges. The report will include, to the extent 12 possible and lawful, the results of the investigation of the incident. 13 (b) The report shall also include: (i) with respect to subparagraph 14 (i) of paragraph (a) of this subdivision, an explanation as to why the 15 office of special investigation declined to present evidence to a grand 16 jury; and (ii) any recommendations for systemic or other reforms arising 17 from the investigation. 18 7. Six months after this subdivision takes effect, and annually on 19 such date thereafter, the office of special investigation shall issue a 20 report, which shall be made available to the public and posted on the 21 website of the department of law, which shall provide information on the 22 matters investigated by such office during such reporting period. The 23 information presented shall include, but not be limited to: the county 24 and geographic location of each matter investigated; a description of 25 the circumstances of each case; racial, ethnic, age, gender and other 26 demographic information concerning the persons involved or alleged to be 27 involved; information concerning whether a criminal charge or charges 28 were filed against any person involved or alleged to be involved in such 29 matter; the nature of such charges; and the status or, where applicable, 30 outcome with respect to all such criminal charges. Such report shall 31 also include recommendations for any systemic or other reforms recom- 32 mended as a result of such investigations. 33 § 2. Severability clause. If any clause, sentence, paragraph, subdivi- 34 sion, section or part of this act shall be adjudged by any court of 35 competent jurisdiction to be invalid, such judgment shall not affect, 36 impair, or invalidate the remainder thereof, but shall be confined in 37 its operation to the clause, sentence, paragraph, subdivision, section 38 or part thereof directly involved in the controversy in which such judg- 39 ment shall have been rendered. It is hereby declared to be the intent of 40 the legislature that this act would have been enacted even if such 41 invalid provisions had not been included herein. 42 § 3. This act shall take effect April 1, 2021.