Contact: Joshua Fitzpatrick, (518) 542-2413
For Immediate Release:
Thursday, October 11, 2007

Tedisco Introduces "The County Clerks Protection Act"
Says high-taxed New Yorkers shouldn't pay for Governor's frivolous lawsuits,
State should defend and indemnify County Clerks who refuse to break the law

Pointing to the fact that New Yorkers already pay some of the highest taxes in the nation, Assembly Minority Leader James Tedisco (R,C,I-Schenectady-Saratoga) today said they shouldn't be held financially liable if Governor Eliot Spitzer sues County Clerks over their refusal to implement his unlawful plan that would give driver's licenses to illegal aliens.

Tedisco noted that he is seeking passage of legislation - "The County Clerks Protection Act" - to defend and indemnify County Clerks who follow the law, upholding their sworn oath to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution by refusing to implement Governor Spitzer's proposal. Current law states that if a County Clerk is brought up on charges, it then falls to the taxpayers in that particular County to pay costs associated with the legal action. Tedisco said the legislation should also prevent the Governor from removing County Clerks who refuse to enact his proposal from office.

"Illegal Eliot is at it again: this time he's threatening to sue - in a sense, legally steamroll - those courageous County Clerks who refuse to break the law by implementing his policy that would hand out driver's licenses to illegal aliens," Tedisco said.

Tedisco indicated that under Section 502, subsection 1, of the Vehicle and Traffic Law, the Governor and the Commissioner of DMV would be in direct violation of state law requiring a Social Security number be provided to obtain a driver's license if their proposal were enacted.

"Without question, County Clerks who refuse to enact Governor Spitzer's risky, reckless, irresponsible proposal must be defended and indemnified from any frivolous lawsuit he may bring. We've all heard horror stories of frivolous lawsuits, but Governor Spitzer's threat to sue County Clerks who refuse to join him in breaking the law takes the cake," Tedisco stated.

"Our Conference proudly stands with those County Clerks who last week rejected Governor Spitzer's plan by a vote of 29-4. We are a government of laws, not dictators. We will stand on the side of right, on the side of sound public policy and a safer, more secure New York by standing with the County Clerks who refuse to follow Governor Spitzer's dictates," Tedisco stated.

"First, Governor Spitzer crafts his plan with zero public or legislative input. Next, he refuses to release many of the program details. Now, we hear rumblings that he may bring legal action against County Clerks. Where does it all end? Will the Governor's next step be the attempted removal of those Clerks who refuse to break the law, as his proposal would have them do?" Tedisco said.

"Instead of trying to intimidate local elected officials with frivolous lawsuits, Governor Spitzer should worry about the legal action he faces from our Assembly Minority Conference if he does not rescind his proposal by October 31. Governor Spitzer has less than three weeks to change course, otherwise we'll see him in court," Tedisco concluded.

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