Kenny Bill Advances To Pursue Corruption

TRENTON – A bill, sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Bernard F. Kenny Jr., to increase the statute of limitations from five years to seven years for crimes involving political corruption was approved today (5-0) by the Assembly Judiciary Committee.

“With this bill (S-1224) prosecutors will have consistency while they are pursuing ongoing political corruption probes,” said Senator Kenny, D-Hudson. “This bill will set a uniform statute of limitations so political corruption can be examined in the same time frame as other crimes such as bribery and official misconduct.”

The statute of limitations sets the maximum amount of time after a crime is committed for law enforcement officials to make an arrest in an ongoing case. Over the years, the statute was allowed to vary, but the added time from five years to seven years will help solve complex public corruption cases, supporters said.

The crimes for which the statute of limitations would be extended from five to seven years are threats and other improper influences in official and political matters, retaliation for past official action, unlawful official business transaction where interest is involved, acceptance or receipt of unlawful benefit by a public servant for official behavior, and offer of unlawful benefit to a public servant for official behavior.

The measure passed the Senate by a unanimous 40-0 vote in February and now awaits final legislative approval with a floor vote in the Assembly.