Johns Sponsoring Bill To Save Constituent Records From Illegal Shredding

January 21, 2011

Assemblyman Mark Johns (left) and Assemblyman Phil Boyle (right) unveil new legislation benefiting constituents.

Assemblyman Mark Johns (R,C-Webster) this week joined Assemblyman Phil Boyle (R,C,I-Bay Shore) in sponsoring legislation that would criminalize the deliberate destruction of open constituent casework files by outgoing elected officials. The bill calls for up to one year in jail and a $25,000 fine.

“It seems to be common practice that documents are destroyed and tossed as politicians leave office, but the trouble begins when open constituent casework is destroyed,” said Johns. “It can be a headache for me and my staff but it’s more of a nightmare for the constituent who has relied on the office as their liaison to a number of governmental concerns.”

Johns, who unseated incumbent David Koon in November, found his new district office empty in the New Year. The office was devoid of any documents, files, or electronic filings. The Assemblyman, however, spoke with his predecessor who assured him that there were no pending matters and items were closed before his exiting of the office.

The freshman Assemblyman’s top priority is quality constituent services. Johns has instructed staff to diligently maintain constituent files and communications both in paper form and electronically.

“I want to be sure we’re addressing the needs of the residents in my district. If for any reason a constituent feels their casework has not been completed or addressed, I urge them to please contact me and I will be sure to look into the matter,” concluded Johns.

Johns represents the 135th Assembly District, which includes the towns of Webster, Perinton, Penfield, and East Rochester. The Assemblyman and his staff encourage constituents to inquire about pending casework by calling (585) 223-9130.