Regional Briefs – January 19, 2015

Cuomo Hires Former Speaker Quinn as Special Adviser

NEW YORK – Gov. Andrew Cuomo hired former NYC Council Speaker Christine Quinn as a special adviser, with her first day being Saturday.

2011 Cop Shooter Sentenced To 40 Years in Jail

BROOKLYN – In a courtroom packed with NYPD officers Friday, Jerry Benoit was sentenced to 40 years in state prison for shooting two different officers in 2011. The 33-year-old missed in both cases.

ATM Thief Blames Illegals For Life of Crime

MINEOLA, N.Y. – An ATM thief who used a truck to smash into a mall said he did it because he “can’t compete with all the illegal immigration,” The Associated Press reported. Garrett Landry pleaded not guilty Friday.

$1M Overpaid for NY Medicaid Recipients’ Drugs

ALBANY – New York’s Health Department overpaid nearly $1 million in pharmacy claims for thousands of Medicaid recipients whose benefits were already covered, according to an audit. The $50.5 billion program has 6.5 million enrollees.

Guardrail Crashes Down Off 96-Story Tower

NEW YORK – A 8-foot guardrail on Wednesday came crashing off the 81st floor of a midtown Manhattan tower and landed in front of a building, The New York Times reported. No one was injured. A city stop-work order was lifted Thursday evening.

NY Lawmaker to Offer 3 Bills Aimed at Trust in Justice

ALBANY – A Williamsburg assemblyman will again introduce three bills to build trust between police and minorities. Joe Lentol wants to allow defendants access to prosecutors’ data earlier than the night before trial, requires videotaping police interrogations and tweaking the way witnesses ID suspects from photos.

Comptroller Says NYC Owed $2.2 Billion From State Surplus

NEW YORK – New York City should receive $2.2 billion from a state surplus of $5 billion, Comptroller Scott Stringer estimated Thursday. Stringer says there’s been a dramatic decline in state aid to the city in recent years, despite the fact that New York City is the state’s “economic engine.”