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

NOTE: There are more recent revisions of this legislation. Read Latest Draft
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


                               2019-2020 Regular Sessions

                   IN ASSEMBLY

                                    January 15, 2019

        Introduced  by  M. of A. PERRY, MOSLEY, GOTTFRIED, GANTT, COOK, PRETLOW,
          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

        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  have investigative authority and criminal
     7  jurisdiction of any incident in which the death of a person, whether  in
     8  custody or not, is caused by 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 subdivision twenty-five of  section  2.10  of  the
    11  criminal procedure law, whether or not formally on duty, or in which the
    12  attorney general determines there is a significant question as to wheth-
    13  er the death was in fact caused by such police officer or peace officer;

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

        A. 1601--B                          2

     1  provided the office of special investigation shall investigate any death
     2  under  its  jurisdiction of a person who was unarmed at the time of such
     3  incident or in which the attorney general determines there is a  signif-
     4  icant question as to whether the person was in fact armed.
     5    2.  The  attorney  general  has  investigative  authority and criminal
     6  jurisdiction under this section at the time of  the death of the  person
     7  and  the  attorney  general retains investigative authority and criminal
     8  jurisdiction over the incident unless the  attorney  general  determines
     9  that  such  incident  does not meet the requirements of this section. If
    10  the attorney general determines the incident does not meet the  require-
    11  ments for the attorney general to have investigative authority and crim-
    12  inal  jurisdiction pursuant to this section, the attorney general shall,
    13  as soon as practicable, provide written notice of such determination  to
    14  the district attorney for the county in which the incident occurred.
    15    3.  In  connection  with  any  particular incident encompassed by this
    16  section, the attorney general shall be empowered to subpoena  witnesses,
    17  compel  their  attendance,  examine  them  under  oath before himself or
    18  herself or a magistrate and require that any books,  records,  documents
    19  or  papers  relevant or material to the inquiry be turned over to him or
    20  her for inspection, examination or audit, pursuant to the civil practice
    21  law and rules, in connection with such incident.
    22    4. The attorney general shall  have  criminal  jurisdiction  over  any
    23  criminal  conduct  arising  from any incident herein, and shall exercise
    24  all of the powers and perform all of the duties  with  respect  to  such
    25  actions  or  proceedings  that  a  district  attorney would otherwise be
    26  authorized or required to exercise or perform, including all the  powers
    27  necessary to prosecute acts and omissions and alleged acts and omissions
    28  to obstruct, hinder or interfere with any inquiry, prosecution, trial or
    29  judgment  arising  from  the  incident. The criminal jurisdiction of the
    30  office of special investigation shall displace and supersede the  juris-
    31  diction  of  the district attorney where the incident occurred; and such
    32  district attorney shall only have the powers and duties reserved to  him
    33  or her in writing by the attorney general.
    34    5.  The attorney general shall designate a deputy attorney general for
    35  special investigation to exercise the powers and duties of the office of
    36  special investigation, who shall be in the exempt  class  of  the  civil
    37  service.   The deputy attorney general may designate deputies or assist-
    38  ants, who shall be in the exempt class of the civil service,  as  neces-
    39  sary  and  appropriate.    The  other employees of the office of special
    40  investigation within the  department  of  law,  who  are  not  otherwise
    41  exempt,  shall  all be in the competitive class of the civil service and
    42  shall be considered for  purposes  of  article  fourteen  of  the  civil
    43  service  law  to  be public employees in the civil service of the state,
    44  and shall be assigned to the  appropriate  collective  bargaining  unit.
    45  Employees serving in positions in newly created titles shall be assigned
    46  to the same collective bargaining units as they would have been assigned
    47  to  were such titles created prior to the establishment of the office of
    48  special investigation within the department of law by this chapter.  The
    49  deputy attorney general for special investigation may appear and conduct
    50  proceedings  in  person  or by his or her deputy or assistant before any
    51  court or grand jury in connection with proceedings under this section.
    52    6. For any incident under this section, the office of special investi-
    53  gation shall issue a public report and post the report  on  its  website
    54  whenever  the office of special investigation initiates an investigation
    55  and (i) the office of special investigation declines to present evidence
    56  to a grand jury or (ii) the office of special investigation does present

        A. 1601--B                          3

     1  evidence to a grand jury but the grand jury declines to  return  indict-
     2  ment on any charges. The report will include, to the extent possible and
     3  lawful, the results of the investigation of the incident.
     4    7.    Six  months after this subdivision takes effect, and annually on
     5  such date thereafter, the office of special investigation shall issue  a
     6  report,  which  shall  be made available to the public and posted on the
     7  website of the department of law, which shall provide information on the
     8  matters investigated by such office during such  reporting  period.  The
     9  information  presented  shall include, but not be limited to: the county
    10  and geographic location of each matter investigated;  a  description  of
    11  the  circumstances  of  each case; racial, ethnic, age, gender and other
    12  demographic information concerning the persons involved or alleged to be
    13  involved; information concerning whether a criminal  charge  or  charges
    14  were filed against any person involved or alleged to be involved in such
    15  matter; the nature of such charges; and the status or, where applicable,
    16  outcome  with  respect  to  all such criminal charges. Such report shall
    17  also include recommendations for any systemic or  other  reforms  recom-
    18  mended as a result of such investigations.
    19    § 2. Severability clause. If any clause, sentence, paragraph, subdivi-
    20  sion,  section  or  part  of  this act shall be adjudged by any court of
    21  competent jurisdiction to be invalid, such judgment  shall  not  affect,
    22  impair,  or  invalidate  the remainder thereof, but shall be confined in
    23  its operation to the clause, sentence, paragraph,  subdivision,  section
    24  or part thereof directly involved in the controversy in which such judg-
    25  ment shall have been rendered. It is hereby declared to be the intent of
    26  the  legislature  that  this  act  would  have been enacted even if such
    27  invalid provisions had not been included herein.
    28    § 3. This act shall take effect April 1, 2021.