Assemblyman John Ceretto, R, I, 138th District, Lewiston, this week joined several Assembly and Senate colleagues in announcing new legislation that will make it a crime for any elected official to knowingly destroy "open" constituent case files. The legislation, which carries penalties of up to one year in jail and a $25,000 fine, intends to prevent outgoing legislators from destroying existing constituent case files of new members.
A sponsor of the bill, Ceretto noted that this legislation struck close to home, because when he moved into the office he inherited from his predecessor it contained no constituent case files or any other Assembly documents.
"My first priority after taking office was to address any open constituent cases by reaching out to members of the community who still had unresolved business with my predecessor," Ceretto said. "Unfortunately, no case files were handed over to my staff during the transition, which has made helping people in need a difficult task. I urge any constituent who had an open case with Assemblywoman (Francine) DelMonte to contact my office so that we may begin to address your issues."
"It is unfortunate that it now has become necessary for us to legislate transition decorum to ensure that constituents are not the victims of political spite," Ceretto said. "I look forward to working in a bipartisan manner to pass this legislation to ensure that freshmen legislators, Republican and Democrat, have a smoother transition than was afforded me."