FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 1, 2005
MAYOR MICHAEL R. BLOOMBERG SIGNS LEGISLATION INCREASING PENALTIES FOR DAMAGING OR DEFACING HOUSES OF WORSHIP
Remarks by Mayor Bloomberg at a Public Hearing on Local Laws
"The last bill before me is Intro 703-A, sponsored by Council Members Oddo, Gallagher, Lanza, Addabbo, Arroyo, Avella, Fidler, Gennaro Gentile, Jackson, James, Martinez, McMahon, Nelson, Recchia, Stewart, Vallone, Weprin, Brewer, Clarke, Foster, Gerson, Gonzalez, Koppell, Liu, Perkins, Rivera, Sanders, Vann, Reed, Katz, Seabrook, Speaker Miller and Public Advocate, Betsy Gotbaum. This bill increases the civil penalty for damaging or defacing houses of worship.
"Current law provides for a maximum civil penalty of $10,000 for those who damage or deface a house of worship. Intro. 703-A would set $10,000 as the minimum penalty and set a maximum penalty of $25,000. This civil penalty is in addition to any criminal penalty that may be imposed and will not limit or preclude any cause of action available to an entity or person. Additionally, this bill specifically includes religious figures and monuments as property covered by this new fine structure.
"Religious institutions are sacred property and those who violate these institutions should be punished to the highest level. It is my hope that the penalties imposed in this bill discourage those who may commit such acts.
I would like to thank the Police Department and the City Council for their work on this bill."
Edward Skyler / Jordan Barowitz (212) 788-2958
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