Assemblyman Tony Seminerio of Queens matched a big mouth with outsized greed to become the poster boy for ethics reform in Albany.
Tony on the take
The FBI tapes that caught Seminerio selling his office demonstrate why the Legislature must enact a sweeping financial disclosure and conflict-of-interest statute. Tony's Law, if you will. Speaker Sheldon Silver said late Thursday that the Assembly will begin discussing reforms.
The recordings must also prompt Silver to strip Seminerio immediately of seniority privileges and legislative chairmanships.
There is no need to wait for conviction. The case against Seminerio is open and shut, in his own crude words.
Unquestionably, Seminerio has brought the Legislature into disrepute. He needs to be cut loose, and lawmakers must grapple with their own responsibility for enabling Tony the Taker to peddle his influence for 10 grand a month.