S.295 – Steep penalties for using public office for personal gain
S.295 would make it a felony for public officials and employees to use their office for personal gain. This would include the enrichment of themselves, friends or family members, and would also extend to influencing government decisions that could benefit them or an associated business. Penalties would include a minimum five-year prison sentence and fine of up to $10,000, in addition to a lifetime ban from holding office.
Stronger penalties are long overdue for public officials that abuse their power and this bill would be a step in the right direction to achieving that. For reference, the only other felony offense in the entire Ethics Act is direct bribery.