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Lawmakers Consider Dumping Fee on Dismissed Tickets

Lawmakers Consider Dumping Fee on Dismissed Tickets

Riverhead - (WALK) Members of the Suffolk Legislature will be contemplating the line between law and justice after a public hearing about the county's policy for processing traffic tickets Tuesday.

Residents sounded off at the Riverhead County Center about a proposal to drop the current $50 fee for processing nearly all tickets issued in Suffolk, even those tickets dismissed in court.

Legislator Robert Carlarco of Patchogue introduced a bill last month to drop the fee. The full Legislature is scheduled to vote on his proposal at their next meeting, December 17.

Also during Tuesday's session, lawmakers voted to strengthen Suffolk's Animal Abuse Offender's Registry after three years of setbacks and delays; approved the reappointment of Rabbi Steven A. Moss as chair of the Suffolk County Human Rights Commission; and approved a resolution to name Suffolk's North County Complex in honor of the late William J. Lindsay, the longest-serving Presiding Officer in the history of the Legislature. Lindsay died this summer of complications of Mesothelioma. 

The Animal Abuse Offender Registry was approved by lawmakers in 2010, but was found lacking.  The original bill authorized the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals to manage the county's website-registry, but authorities say the SPCA held off implementing the website over concerns about lawsuits and insurance.  The county had offered to indemnify the SPCA in only cases where it county provided the SPCA with incorrect information.  SPCA officials reportedly deny delays over indemnification.

The new law, approved by a margin of 11- 5, allows the Suffolk police to select from any animal-rights or animal rescue organization to manage the website, and requires anyone convicted of animal cruelty or abuse to register at their local police station.  County Executive Steve Bellone has indicated he will sign the bill into law.

Under the current law convicted offenders must register and pay an annual registration fee of $50.  Convicts who fail to register face a $1,000 fine and up to a year in jail.  Although several residents were convicted since 2010 none have registered, according to county officials.

The sponsor of the bill, Legislator Louis D'Amaro (D-North Babylon) says a request for proposals to run the registry may be issued within 60 days, and says the SPCA may reapply.

The full agenda of Tuesday's meeting can be found at: http://legis.suffolkcountyny.gov/

Seal: Suffolk County


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