Protesters call for state Sen. Hannon to step down
More than a dozen protesters rallied outside state Sen. Kemp Hannon's office Wednesday, calling for him to either leave the Senate or his law firm.
Protesters accused the senator, chairman of the influential Health Committee, of accepting campaign contributions from health care providers hoping for favors from the Legislature. They also say he's arranged for lucrative state grants to a hospital represented by his law firm.
"He is making decisions for the people of New York state. At the same time, he's trying to make decisions of what's going to happen to his pocket and making more money," says Lisa Tyson, of LI Progressive Coalition.
A spokesman for state Senate Republicans in Albany and Hannon's office say that the complaints of those protesters are completely unfounded.
"I've always disclosed I'm a part of Farrell/Fritz. It's a premiere law firm. I don't do individual client counseling," Hannon told News 12.
Hannon says many of those demonstrators are members of political parties that oppose his re-election next year. He says their "criticism should be taken with a grain of salt."
Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has proposed a ban on outside employment for legislators in an effort to toughen state ethics laws. Gov. Andrew Cuomo's ethics bill would require legislators to fully disclose who they work for, how much they earn and precisely what they do for the money.