Brabenec, Miller call on Harris to resign after indictment

Karl Brabenec

Two Republican assemblymen representing pieces of Orange County called on Democratic Assemblywoman Pamela Harris of Brooklyn to resign this week after she became latest in a conga line of Albany lawmakers to be charged with corruption or other wrongdoing.

Federal authorities say Harris took money from a nonprofit she ran to take vacations and pay her mortgage, and collected almost $25,000 in federal funds by falsely claiming that Hurricane Sandy forced her from her Coney Island home in 2012. Charges against her for those and other alleged schemes include wire fraud, bankruptcy fraud and making false statements. Assemblyman Karl Brabenec, a Deerpark Republican, called Harris’ arrest fresh justification for the Public Officers Accountability Act, a set of ethics reforms Assembly Republicans first proposed in 2013.

“The charges involving Ms. Harris cast a dark shadow on the Legislature, and if she continues serving as an assemblywoman, it will cause major distractions to the business of the house,” Brabenec said in his statement. “It is because of this that I recommend Ms. Harris resign immediately as a member of the New York state Assembly for the benefit of the residents she represents and for the benefit of the citizens of New York.”

Brian Miller

Miller, a New Hartford Republican whose seven-county district includes seven towns in Orange, Ulster and Sullivan counties, called the charge that Harris had fraudulently obtained Hurricane Sandy relief “reprehensible and disgusting,” and said he was embarrassed as a fellow Assembly member.

“This is yet another example of the rampant corruption that goes on in Albany, something I have vowed to fight against,” Miller said. “Ms. Harris is now among a growing group of disgraced legislators who believe they are above the law. Given the seriousness of the charges facing her, it is clear that Ms. Harris is unable to fairly and honestly represent the people of her district.”

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    Chris McKenna

    Chris McKenna covers Orange County government and politics for the Times Herald-Record. He has been a reporter at the newspaper since 1999. Read Full

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