Suffolk Legislature to Weigh Quarterly Reporting for Asset Forfeiture Funds, Improving Animal Abuse Registry at March 20 Meeting

Written by Long Island News & PR  |  20. March 2018

Hauppauge, NY - March 20, 2018 - Members of the Suffolk County Legislature are expected to consider amending the local law to require the Police Department, District Attorney, Sheriff’s Office and Probation Department to file quarterly reports detailing receipts and expenditures of asset forfeiture funds for the prior year at their meeting today, March 20, at the William H. Rogers Legislature Building in Hauppauge at 9:30 a.m.
The measure, which amends a law passed in 2017, changes reporting requirements from annually to quarterly reporting on March 15th, June 15th, September 15th, and December 15th.Reports will be submitted to the County Executive, County Comptroller and County Legislature.
Presiding Officer DuWayne Gregory said the measure is a common sense initiative to ensure all funds are properly accounted for. “This is necessary to ensure transparency by identifying outside agencies to which the funds are expended, the amount provided and the purpose of the funding.”
Lawmakers will seek to strengthen the Animal Abuse Offender Registry by increasing the length of time individuals are required to remain on the registry, requiring registrants to update their information within 15 days of moving, prohibiting those on the registry from owning any animals as long as they are required to be on the registry and updating the definitions of abuse crimes to be included on the registry. 
The registry will be created and maintained by the Suffolk County Police Department and the District Attorney will be required to update the Police Department with information on pleas and convictions. 
Legislators will also consider appropriating $1.5 million for the removal of toxic and hazardous materials in County parks. The majority of these funds will be used to remediate and restore the area of West Hills County Park where illegal dumping was discovered. 
In addition Legislators will weigh: 
  • Updating language governing a Legislator-Elect’s ability to access the office and files of his or her predecessor during the transition period;
  • Authorizing appraisal for 1.8 acres in Southold for a Hamlet park;
  • Retroactively approving the appointment and promotion of Marisol Martinez;
  • Granting a residency waiver for Craig McElwee and Andrew Weiss, Deputy Bureau Chief and Bureau Chief respectively, in the District Attorney’s Office. Both are already employed in the DA’s office.
Public Hearings scheduled to begin at 2:30 pm include:
  • Requiring oversight and approval by the Public Safety Committee and full Legislature for expending asset forfeiture funds exceeding $3,500;
  • Improving contracting and payment rules for contract agencies;
  • Amending the County Charter to require adoption of the following year’s operating budget at least seven calendar days prior to Election Day;
  • Limiting fee increases proposed in future recommended budgets to no more than 2% over the previous fiscal year;
  • Requiring net neutrality principles by internet service providers contracting with the County;
  • Prohibiting the sale of ground-based or hand-held sparkling devices within Suffolk County;
  • Imposing limitations on campaign contributions from County contractors and public employee unions to County elected officials and candidates seeking County office;
  • Requiring food establishments to include a warning on their menus informing consumers of the risks associated with consuming fish or seafood with high mercury content;
  • Updating the County’s Social Host Law to include the prohibition of drug use by minors;
  • Expanding procedural requirements with the county’s contracting process that cover minority and women-owned business to include business owned by service-disabled veterans.
For additional information, visit www.scnylegislature.us/ or contact Fran Evans at (631)853-5499.

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