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A Sign of Our Times




Grand Jury Report critical of Smithtown town
nments supervision
of commercial
property demolition…

The Grand Jury Report is public record and available at the link below. It is 40 pages, but double spaced, and well worth the few minutes it takes to read it.

Please feel free to share your comments with us.

Click on link for Full Report






Sign of our Times

By Eric Sailor

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Legislator Kennedy Proposes IR 1542 Opting Out Of Ride Sharing


Legislator Leslie Kennedy (R-Nesconset) held a press conference on Thursday, June 15 regarding her bill; Introductory Resolution 1542. This bill would temporarily opt out Suffolk County from ride sharing services, such as Uber and Lyft, until a loophole is closed by New York State. The present version of the bill allows certain level 1 registered sex offenders to be eligible as drivers for Uber, or Lyft, or any other ride sharing service.

According to New York State DCJS Upon release to the community following a conviction for a registerable offense, a sex offender is required to register with the Division of Criminal Justice Services. In order to determine the level of community notification and duration of registration, a hearing is held by the sentencing court. After examining the facts in a particular case, including, but not limited to, the use of force, weapons, alcohol or drugs, victim’s age, number of victims, assault or injury of the victim and relationship to the victim, the court makes a determination regarding the offender’s level of notification, commonly called the risk level. The risk level is based on the court’s assessment regarding whether a particular offender is likely to repeat the same or similar registerable offense and the danger the offender poses to the community. Because the risk level reflects factors unique to a particular sex offender, offenders convicted of the same offense may receive different risk levels. A level 1 indicates there is a low risk of a repeat offense.

Level 2 and level 3 sex offenders are prohibited by state law from being Uber and Lyft drivers.

According to Politifact “The law requires ride-hailing companies to perform a background check on prospective drivers. They have to check New York’s Sex Offender Registry and the National Sex Offender Public Registry.

Those who are on the national registry are barred from ever driving for ride-hailing companies. But not all registered sex offenders are on it. New York state’s Level 2 and Level 3 offenders are listed on the national registry, and they remain on it for life. So they will never be able to drive for the companies.

New York state’s Level 1 offenders are not on the national registry. And, state law does not allow information about Level 1 sex offenders to be posted online. Federal agencies have access to the information but state law blocks it from being posted on the national registry.

That does not mean all Level 1 sex offenders can drive for the ride-hailing companies. Level 1 offenders must wait seven years after their release from jail or prison before they are allowed to drive. If the offenders are not incarcerated, the seven-year waiting period starts when they are convicted, according to state law.” 

Legislator Kennedy was joined at her press conference by Laura Ahearn, Executive Director of Parents for Megan’s Law, Ed Flood who was representing Assemblyman Dean Murray, Robert Cunningham of Suffolk TLC, as well as Legislators William Spencer, Kevin McCaffrey, and Tom Cilmi.

Laura Ahearn said that the “State law in its current form leaves women and children vulnerable to being driven around by licensed TNC drivers who are also registered sex offenders convicted of forcible violent sexual attacks against both women and children.  We are confident that state lawmakers will continue to work together to correct this dangerous situation immediately.”  

Kennedy’s bill has support from State Lawmakers such as Assemblyman Dean Murray who has said, “I applaud Legislator Kennedy’s Bill to put the brakes on accepting Uber and Lyft until this very dangerous loophole is closed. I am working hard with my colleagues in Albany to close this as soon as possible.”

And Senator Tom Croci who said “I have always been supportive of ride-sharing services such as of Uber and Lyft, and I recognize its importance as a transportation alternative. My NYS Senate colleagues and I are currently working with members of the Assembly on legislation to close this dangerous loophole. It is our hope that we will do so before the 2017 State Legislative session comes to a close next week.  I applaud S.C. Legislator Leslie Kennedy on her interim bill to keep Suffolk County residents safe until we can complete our work in Albany.”

“Uber and Lyft provide a very good service,” said Legislator Kennedy “But we need to make sure that our residents are safe while using these ride sharing services. I am confident that lawmakers in Albany will resolve this oversight, but until then we must opt out of ride sharing services.”


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