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Quick Facts
Personal Details

Education

  • JD, Baltimore University School of Law, 1968
  • BA, University of Dayton, 1964

Professional Experience

  • JD, Baltimore University School of Law, 1968
  • BA, University of Dayton, 1964
  • Former Assistant District Attorney, Kings County
  • Attorney, present

Political Experience

  • JD, Baltimore University School of Law, 1968
  • BA, University of Dayton, 1964
  • Former Assistant District Attorney, Kings County
  • Attorney, present
  • Assembly Member, New York State Assembly, District 50, 1973-present
  • Candidate, New York State Assembly, District 50, 2018

Former Committees/Caucuses

Member, 94th Precinct Community Council

Chair, Brooklyn Community Action Board

Former Chair, Committee on Governmental Operations, New York State Assembly

Member, Brooklyn Community Action Board, 2001-2012

Director, Brooklyn Assembly Delegation, 2001

Member, Election Modernization Task Force, 2000-2001

Current Legislative Committees

Chair, Codes Committee

Member, Election Law Committee

Member, Rules Committee

Member, Ways and Means Committee

Religious, Civic, and other Memberships

  • JD, Baltimore University School of Law, 1968
  • BA, University of Dayton, 1964
  • Former Assistant District Attorney, Kings County
  • Attorney, present
  • Assembly Member, New York State Assembly, District 50, 1973-present
  • Candidate, New York State Assembly, District 50, 2018
  • Member, Fidelity Council #495
  • Member, Green Oaks Citizen's Club
  • Member, Greenpoint Civic Council
  • Member, Greenpoint Young Men's Christian Association
  • Member, Knights of Columbus
  • Member, New York State Bar
  • Member, Northside Community Development Council
  • Member, Sons of Italy
Articles

Governor Cuomo Signs into Law the "Safe Way Home Act"

Dec. 23, 2019

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today signed into law the "Safe Way Home Act" (S.3966A/A5775). The legislation provides survivors of sexual assault no-cost transportation from medical facilities where they received initial care in the wake of an assault to their home, shelter or other safe location. "Sexual assault is a heinous crime that can have devastating impacts on survivors, especially in the immediate aftermath of the abuse they suffered," Governor Cuomo said. "This measure will provide some peace of mind and security at a time when victims are most vulnerable by helping ensure they get home or to a safe location." This legislation will go into effect after 90 days. Senator Julia Salazar said, "The Safe Way Home Act is an important victory for survivors of sexual violence, and its creation was directly informed by one of our constituents who survived sexual violence. Through this law, we are demonstrating to survivors that ensuring their safety, and the safety of crime victim advocates supporting them, is a top priority. Thank you to the Governor's office and Assemblyman Lentol for partnering with us to make the Safe Way Home Act a reality." Assemblyman Joseph R. Lentol said, "The Safe Way Home Act will provide safety and peace of mind by ensuring that survivors will not be burdened with the logistics of or paying for transportation home. This legislation is the perfect example of community activism coming to fruition. I am very proud to work with Deborah Spiroff on this important measure that will aid victims of sexual assault. I thank Senator Salazar for sponsoring this legislation in the Senate and applaud Governor Cuomo for signing this important measure that will go a long way to aid survivors of sexual violence." For more information, eligibility guidelines and to locate a victim assistance program, visit www.ovs.ny.gov or call 1-800-247-8035.

Governor Cuomo Signs Attorney General Program Bill Protecting Rent Regulated Tenants from Landlord Harassment

Dec. 3, 2019

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today signed legislation (A.6188/S.2605) protecting rent regulated tenants from landlord harassment by preventing landlords from creating unsafe, disruptive or uninhabitable conditions in order to force tenants out of their homes. The previous law only provided protections to tenants who could demonstrate physical injury, and failed to take into account the conditions caused by the landlord. This measure, a program bill advanced by Attorney General Letitia James, builds on the many new tenant protections signed into law by Governor Cuomo. "Safe and affordable housing is a fundamental right, and we are proud to have enacted the most aggressive tenant protections in New York State history," Governor Cuomo said. "I thank Attorney General James for her advocacy on this measure, which holds bad actors accountable and further strengthens existing tenant protections. With this signature, we're taking one step closer towards a safer, fairer, and more affordable New York for all." "For far too long, unscrupulous landlords have gotten away with subjecting rent-regulated tenants to dangerous and inhumane conditions in an attempt to force them out of their homes," Attorney General James said. "Today that changes. Tenants will no longer have to meet an unreasonably high bar to demonstrate that they are being harassed. Instead, we will ensure that landlords will face justice when they intentionally subject their tenants to unsafe, disruptive, or uninhabitable conditions, such as exposing them to hazardous materials, shutting off heat and hot water, or using construction to make buildings deliberately uninhabitable. I thank the bill's sponsors Senator Krueger and Assemblymember Lentol, legislative leaders, and Governor Cuomo for ensuring that our most vulnerable tenants will be protected." The new Class A misdemeanor for harassing a rent regulated tenant is committed when a landlord attempts to force out a tenant by making their accommodations uninhabitable or purposefully creates or maintains a condition that risks the safety, health and comfort of the tenant. This measure also broadens the definition of the existing class E felony offense to include conduct by a landlord that seeks to force out two or more rent regulated tenants by making their accommodations uninhabitable or purposefully creates or maintains a condition that risks the safety, health and comfort of the tenant. Finally, multiple convictions for misdemeanor conduct under these new provisions within five years will permit prosecutors to charge the repeat offender with a class E felony. This legislation fulfills a key component of the Governor's Justice Agenda, as well as builds on the Housing Stability and Tenant Protection Act of 2019 - enacting the most aggressive tenant protections in state history. Senator Liz Krueger said, "Over the years I have heard far too many horror stories from my constituents about the harassment they have suffered at the hands of unscrupulous landlords trying to drive them out of their homes. Until now, it has been nearly impossible for criminal charges to be filed against even the worst offenders. As of today, the law will be updated to protect tenants and give them a fighting chance, and to safeguard our dwindling stock of affordable housing. I commend Attorney General James for her leadership on this issue, and I thank Governor Cuomo for signing this bill so that rent-regulated New Yorkers can live free of the fear of harassment from their landlords." Assemblymember Joe Lentol said, "The harassment of tenants in order to force them out so the landlord can raise the rent has been a rampant and unconscionable problem. This bill takes a stance against landlords who puts profit over people. Many tenants are forced out under the guise of necessary repairs, but this bill will go a long way to protect tenants from such harassment and help keep individuals and families in their home."

Governor Cuomo Signs Legislation Closing New York's Double Jeopardy Loophole, Authorizing the State to Prosecute Individuals Pardoned By a President

Oct. 16, 2019

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced he signed legislation (S.4572/A.6653) to close New York's double jeopardy legal loophole that protects individuals who are pardoned by a President from being prosecuted at the state level for the same offense. This key reform, which was an Attorney General's program bill, gives New York prosecutors discretion to pursue prosecution of criminal acts where they have jurisdiction. "No one is above the law and New York will not turn a blind eye to criminality, no matter who seeks to protect them," Governor Cuomo said. "The closure of this egregious loophole gives prosecutors the ability to stand up against any abuse of power, and helps ensure that no politically motivated, self-serving action is sanctioned under law. I thank the Attorney General for her work to advance this much-needed reform and by signing it into law we are taking another step toward a stronger, fairer and more just Empire State for all." "We have a responsibility to ensure that individuals who commit crimes under New York state law are held accountable for those crimes," said Attorney General Letitia James. "This critical new law closes a gaping loophole that could have allowed any president to abuse the presidential pardon power by unfairly granting a pardon to a family member or close associate and possibly allow that individual to evade justice altogether. No one is above the law, and this commonsense measure will provide a reasonable and necessary check on presidential power today and for all presidents to come." The statutory change takes effect immediately and applies to future and past offenses, provided the person has not already been tried or entered a plea. Senator Todd Kaminsky, a former federal corruption prosecutor, said, "With the President all but pledging to corruptly abuse his pardon power to allow friends and associates off the hook, it is crucial that we have closed the Double Jeopardy loophole and preserved the rule of law in New York. I commend Attorney General James for her outstanding leadership on this important issue and thank Governor Cuomo for signing this measure to protect New Yorkers' pursuit of justice." Assembly Member Joseph Lentol said, "This legislation takes the incentive out of any scheme to thwart prosecution. Congress is unable to address the pardon problem; therefore, states must respond. I thank the Governor for signing this legislation as it sends a clear message no one will be off the hook of prosecution."