Bill Text: NY A01601 | 2019-2020 | General Assembly | Amended


Bill Title: Establishes the office of special investigation within the office of the attorney general.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Democrat 69-0)

Status: (Introduced) 2020-06-10 - substituted by s2574c [A01601 Detail]

Download: New_York-2019-A01601-Amended.html



                STATE OF NEW YORK
        ________________________________________________________________________

                                         1601--C

                               2019-2020 Regular Sessions

                   IN ASSEMBLY

                                    January 15, 2019
                                       ___________

        Introduced  by  M. of A. PERRY, MOSLEY, GOTTFRIED, GANTT, COOK, PRETLOW,
          PEOPLES-STOKES, L. ROSENTHAL, CRESPO, WEPRIN, RODRIGUEZ,  QUART,  KIM,
          PICHARDO,  WALKER, BARRON, SEAWRIGHT, JOYNER, BLAKE, JAFFEE, ABINANTI,
          D'URSO, JEAN-PIERRE, HYNDMAN, NIOU,  TAYLOR,  VANEL,  RIVERA,  ARROYO,
          ZEBROWSKI,  FRONTUS,  CRUZ,  AUBRY,  FERNANDEZ,  DE LA ROSA,  EPSTEIN,
          REYES, RICHARDSON, O'DONNELL, SIMOTAS, SIMON, ROZIC,  HUNTER,  WRIGHT,
          ORTIZ, OTIS, LENTOL, DenDEKKER, BARNWELL, BICHOTTE, GLICK, MAGNARELLI,
          DAVILA,  STECK  -- Multi-Sponsored by -- M. of A. CARROLL -- read once
          and referred to the Committee on Codes -- committee  discharged,  bill
          amended,  ordered reprinted as amended and recommitted to said commit-
          tee -- reported and referred to the Committee on  Ways  and  Means  --
          recommitted  to  the  Committee  on  Ways and Means in accordance with
          Assembly Rule 3, sec. 2 -- committee discharged, bill amended, ordered
          reprinted as amended  and  recommitted  to  said  committee  --  again
          reported  from  said  committee  with amendments, ordered reprinted as
          amended and recommitted to said committee

        AN ACT to amend the executive law, in relation to creating an office  of
          special investigation within the office of the attorney general

          The  People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and Assem-
        bly, do enact as follows:

     1    Section 1. The executive law is amended by adding a new  section  70-b
     2  to read as follows:
     3    § 70-b. Office of special investigation. 1. There shall be established
     4  within  the office of the attorney general an office of special investi-
     5  gation. Notwithstanding any  other  provision  of  law,  the  office  of
     6  special investigation shall investigate and, if warranted, prosecute any
     7  alleged  criminal  offense or offenses committed by a person, whether or
     8  not formally on duty, who is a police officer, as defined in subdivision
     9  thirty-four of section 1.20 of the criminal procedure law,  or  a  peace
    10  officer  as  defined  in  section  2.10  of  the criminal procedure law,
    11  provided that such peace officer is employed or contracted by an  educa-

         EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                              [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                                   LBD05660-22-0

        A. 1601--C                          2

     1  tion, public health, social service, parks, housing or corrections agen-
     2  cy,  or  is  a  peace  officer  as defined in subdivision twenty-five of
     3  section 2.10 of the criminal procedure law, concerning any  incident  in
     4  which  the death of a person, whether in custody or not, is caused by an
     5  act or omission of such police officer or peace officer or in which  the
     6  attorney  general determines there is a question as to whether the death
     7  was in fact caused by an act or omission of such police officer or peace
     8  officer.
     9    2. The attorney  general  has  investigative  authority  and  criminal
    10  jurisdiction  under this section at the time of  the death of the person
    11  and the attorney general retains investigative  authority  and  criminal
    12  jurisdiction  over  the  incident unless the attorney general determines
    13  that such incident does not meet the requirements of  this  section.  If
    14  the  attorney general determines the incident does not meet the require-
    15  ments for the attorney general to have investigative authority and crim-
    16  inal jurisdiction pursuant to this section, the attorney general  shall,
    17  as  soon as practicable, provide written notice of such determination to
    18  the district attorney for the county in which the incident occurred.
    19    3. In connection with any  particular  incident  encompassed  by  this
    20  section,  the  attorney general shall conduct a full, reasoned and inde-
    21  pendent investigation, including but not limited to: (a)  gathering  and
    22  analyzing evidence; (b) conducting witness interviews; (c) reviewing and
    23  commissioning  any  necessary  investigative and scientific reports; and
    24  (d) reviewing audio and video-recordings. The attorney general shall  be
    25  empowered  to  subpoena witnesses, compel their attendance, examine them
    26  under oath before himself or herself or a magistrate  and  require  that
    27  any  books,  records,  documents  or  papers relevant or material to the
    28  inquiry be turned over to him or  her  for  inspection,  examination  or
    29  audit,  pursuant to the civil practice law and rules, in connection with
    30  such incident.
    31    4. The attorney general shall  have  criminal  jurisdiction  over  any
    32  criminal  conduct  arising  from any incident herein, and shall exercise
    33  all of the powers and perform all of the duties  with  respect  to  such
    34  actions  or  proceedings  that  a  district  attorney would otherwise be
    35  authorized or required to exercise or perform, including all the  powers
    36  necessary to prosecute acts and omissions and alleged acts and omissions
    37  to obstruct, hinder or interfere with any inquiry, prosecution, trial or
    38  judgment  arising  from  the  incident. The criminal jurisdiction of the
    39  office of special investigation shall displace and supersede the  juris-
    40  diction  of  the district attorney where the incident occurred; and such
    41  district attorney shall only have the powers and duties reserved to  him
    42  or her in writing by the attorney general.
    43    5.  The attorney general shall designate a deputy attorney general for
    44  special investigation to exercise the powers and duties of the office of
    45  special investigation, who shall be in the exempt  class  of  the  civil
    46  service.   The deputy attorney general may designate deputies or assist-
    47  ants, who shall be in the exempt class of the civil service,  as  neces-
    48  sary  and  appropriate.    The  other employees of the office of special
    49  investigation within the  department  of  law,  who  are  not  otherwise
    50  exempt,  shall  all be in the competitive class of the civil service and
    51  shall be considered for  purposes  of  article  fourteen  of  the  civil
    52  service  law  to  be public employees in the civil service of the state,
    53  and shall be assigned to the  appropriate  collective  bargaining  unit.
    54  Employees serving in positions in newly created titles shall be assigned
    55  to the same collective bargaining units as they would have been assigned
    56  to  were such titles created prior to the establishment of the office of

        A. 1601--C                          3

     1  special investigation within the department of law by this chapter.  The
     2  deputy attorney general for special investigation may appear and conduct
     3  proceedings  in  person  or by his or her deputy or assistant before any
     4  court or grand jury in connection with proceedings under this section.
     5    6.  (a)  For  any  incident  under this section, the office of special
     6  investigation shall issue a public report and post  the  report  on  its
     7  website whenever the office of special investigation initiates an inves-
     8  tigation and (i) the office of special investigation declines to present
     9  evidence  to  a  grand  jury or (ii) the office of special investigation
    10  does present evidence to a grand jury but the  grand  jury  declines  to
    11  return indictment on any charges. The report will include, to the extent
    12  possible and lawful, the results of the investigation of the incident.
    13    (b)  The  report  shall also include: (i) with respect to subparagraph
    14  (i) of paragraph (a) of this subdivision, an explanation as to  why  the
    15  office  of special investigation declined to present evidence to a grand
    16  jury; and (ii) any recommendations for systemic or other reforms arising
    17  from the investigation.
    18    7. Six months after this subdivision takes  effect,  and  annually  on
    19  such  date thereafter, the office of special investigation shall issue a
    20  report, which shall be made available to the public and  posted  on  the
    21  website of the department of law, which shall provide information on the
    22  matters  investigated  by  such office during such reporting period. The
    23  information presented shall include, but not be limited to:  the  county
    24  and  geographic  location  of each matter investigated; a description of
    25  the circumstances of each case; racial, ethnic, age,  gender  and  other
    26  demographic information concerning the persons involved or alleged to be
    27  involved;  information  concerning  whether a criminal charge or charges
    28  were filed against any person involved or alleged to be involved in such
    29  matter; the nature of such charges; and the status or, where applicable,
    30  outcome with respect to all such criminal  charges.  Such  report  shall
    31  also  include  recommendations  for any systemic or other reforms recom-
    32  mended as a result of such investigations.
    33    § 2. Severability clause. If any clause, sentence, paragraph, subdivi-
    34  sion, section or part of this act shall be  adjudged  by  any  court  of
    35  competent  jurisdiction  to  be invalid, such judgment shall not affect,
    36  impair, or invalidate the remainder thereof, but shall  be  confined  in
    37  its  operation  to the clause, sentence, paragraph, subdivision, section
    38  or part thereof directly involved in the controversy in which such judg-
    39  ment shall have been rendered. It is hereby declared to be the intent of
    40  the legislature that this act would  have  been  enacted  even  if  such
    41  invalid provisions had not been included herein.
    42    § 3. This act shall take effect April 1, 2021.
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