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GannettUSA Today

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

No extras for job well done

Sometimes legislative committees get it right. The members of the Senate Judiciary Committee did Monday when they dropped a proposal to direct 10 percent of the financial penalties in public corruption cases to the agency responsible for the conviction. The recommendation, from the Attorney General's Office, would be a way to direct more resources to law enforcement offices prosecuting corruption.

But wait. Isn't crimefighting what federal, state and county prosecutors are paid to do? They shouldn't angle for a cut of the action for their office. They're acting on behalf of the public, not themselves or their staffers. And who will mediate how to divvy up the corruption fine among the many law enforcement offices so often involved in one case? Fortunately, the senators understood the host of conflicts this idea involves and struck it from a broader anti-corruption bill. Let's hope it's the last we hear of it.

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