State Assemblyman Anthony Seminerio (D−Richmond Hill) is not letting his indictment on fraud charges get in the way of his day job.
The 73−year−old legislator has been one of the more prolific bill writers in Albany since the legislative session began last week.
Seminerio is the main sponsor of 42 bills so far, ranging from legislation paving the way for Queens to secede from the city to prohibiting professional co−ed boxing matches.
He was indicted by a grand jury in November on one count of honest services mail fraud stemming from allegations by federal prosecutors that he set up a fake consulting business to solicit $1 million in illegal business from entities seeking his influence in Albany.
U.S. attorney’s office in Manhattan filed a criminal complaint against Seminerio last summer when it first revealed the allegations.
Then−U.S. Attorney Michael Garcia claimed Seminerio set up Marc Consulting in 2000, a firm he allegedly created to take in about $1 million in illegal payments, including $300,000 from a hospital believed to be Jamaica Hospital. The hospital acknowledged speculation that it was the unnamed hospital mentioned in the criminal complaint, but would not confirm or deny any involvement with Seminerio.
Ironically, one of the bills sponsored by Seminerio this session is legislation to do away with residency requirements for assistant district attorneys in the outer boroughs that stipulate they must live in the city.
Seminerio wrote in a memo justifying the legislation that “this condition greatly restricts the ability of four of the five district attorney offices in New York City to recruit and hire the best attorneys possible since so many young attorneys live outside the city of New York.”
He also penned a bill to punish juvenile graffiti vandals through a public paddling and to allow a court officer to administer the spanking if the youngster’s guardian does not feel comfortable doing so. According to the bill, the punishment would be carried out either in a courtroom or in a judge’s chambers.
In what is most likely legislation intended to make a point, Seminerio sponsored a bill that calls for a referendum on whether Queens should secede from the city.
“Currently, the general feeling of the people of the Borough of Queens is that they are not receiving their fair share of services,” he wrote. “All current available statistics point toward Queens being very well suited for secession.”
And Seminerio cited a recent male−female boxing match in Seattle as the reason for drafting legislation to bar such fights in New York.
“The fact remains that men have a greater upper body strength than women and at this level it ceases to be a sport and becomes a sideshow,” he wrote.
Reach reporter Howard Koplowitz by e−mail at hkoplowitz
©2009 Community News Group
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