Albany, NY – New NY Speaker Vows Reform, But Past Reflects Status Quo

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    Assemblyman Carl Heastie, D-Bronx, walks to a meeting, Monday, Feb. 2, 2015, in Albany, N.Y.  (AP Photo/Mike Groll)Albany, NY – The new speaker of the New York state Assembly says the Legislature needs tighter rules on financial disclosures and more transparency.

    Carl Heastie proposed several ethical reforms that he says will help restore the public’s trust in the Legislature after several recent scandals.

    An analysis of Heastie’s own financial records shows just how loose the rules are. The Bronx Democrat received more than $23,000 in travel and accommodation reimbursements for legislative business last year — the third-most of any Assembly lawmaker.

    His campaign finance reports show tens of thousands of dollars in credit card payments for unspecified charges and more than $30,000 spent at one auto repair shop in the Bronx.

    Heastie was elected speaker on Tuesday. He has defended his campaign spending and says his compensation is justified.

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