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EXCLUSIVE — Rep. Nicole Malliotakis, R-N.Y., is arguing that violent crime driven by repeat offenders released under the state’s controversial bail reform law won’t turn around unless New York voters elect Republican candidate Lee Zeldin over incumbent Democrat Gov. Kathy Hochul in November.
Malliotakis, who introduced a new bill at the federal level aimed at allowing crime victims or their families seriously injured or killed by violent offenders out on cashless bail to sue states like New York, praised Democratic New York City Mayor Eric Adams for finally releasing data showing recidivism rates in critique of a no consequences criminal justice system.
“I’m so happy we finally have a mayor that’s releasing this information because Bill de Blasio hid this is data from the public,” Malliotakis said in an interview with Fox News Digital on Thursday. “People like me have been advocating for this law to be changed because we know it’s detrimental to the community. We know that crime is skyrocketing and as a result, have had difficulty in getting the data to prove that.”
“I was very happy to see that the NYPD under Mayor Adams, released the data that proves what we’ve been saying all along, that this law is a danger to society and that they’ve been putting the interests of career criminals ahead of the safety of our law-abiding citizens,” Malliotakis said, before turning the blame on Hochul. “In fact, the governor is doing everything she can to hide those facts from the public in defense of this ridiculous law that is hurting her constituents.”
According to data released by the New York Police Department on Wednesday, the number of individuals arrested three or more times in a calendar year for crimes including robbery, burglary, and grand larceny, among others, has increased through the first six months of 2022, compared with crime in the years prior to the onset of the pandemic.
For example, 211 individuals logged at least three arrests for burglary through June 2022, a 142.5% increase compared with the 87 individuals arrested at least three times for burglary in the first six months of 2017. Nearly 25% of those arrested for burglary go on to commit another felony within 60 days, a sharp increase compared with 2017, when 8% of accused burglars were arrested for another felony within 60 days.
Though Adams’ move marked a step in the right direction, Malliotakis, who was a member of the state legislature when it passed the controversial bail reform law in 2019 along party lines under former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, criticized Hochul’s misguided focus on guns instead of repealing cashless bail.
“The governor is the one who is most liable here if she refuses to act,” Malliotakis said of Hochul. “She refused to bring, despite all our calls, the legislature back for a special session. And sure enough, if she gets reelected, she’s going to continue to defend this law instead of making the necessary changes.”
The congresswoman predicted that not much will change unless a Republican heads to Albany.
“I don’t have faith unless we get a new governor and Lee Zeldin is elected that we will see any changes to this bail law, which is why I’ve introduced this measure on the federal level to at least require New York State to have the same provisions as every other state,” Malliotakis said. “It allows for judges to consider an individual’s dangerousness.”
Malliotakis introduced the “Protecting All Communities Equally (PACE) Act of 2022,” which would give courts the authority to consider dangerousness of defendants during sentencing. Under the federal proposal, if a criminal is released without bail and goes on to commit another crime, the responsibility would lie on the state for any injuries or property damage that criminals committed.
The suspect accused of storming onto stage and attempting to stab Rep. Lee Zeldin, R-N.Y. in the neck with a sharp object at a Rochester campaign stop last month was arrested but released hours later on his own recognizance. Federal prosecutors later stepped in and re-arrested the suspect because Zeldin is a sitting U.S. congressman, but Malliotakis argued most assault victims in New York don’t have that luxury.
“The idea that someone can attack a sitting congressperson and be released immediately after that arrest is unconscionable. Now, thankfully, because Lee is a congressperson, the federal government came in and arrested the perpetrator,” she said. “If you’re an average New Yorker, you’re not going to have that same protection and the federal government would not come in and make that arrest. The state laws need to protect citizens. It is the utmost responsibility of government to make sure to provide public safety, period.”
“People are assaulted every single day in New York City. And those perpetrators are being released back on the street,” she added.
According to the congresswoman, another issue driving the release of repeat offenders back onto the streets are “radical left-leaning judges” who were either appointed by former New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio or elected in liberal boroughs.
“We have an issue with the judges in New York. We have very radical left-wing judges that are sitting on the bench, particularly in New York City, that continue to release criminals,” Malliotakis said. “Four out of five of our prosecutors in New York City are woke prosecutors who don’t want to prosecute crime, Alvin Bragg being the worst. Even when the prosecutor requests that bail is set, the judges don’t always do it.”
Malliotakis made the argument that with crime a major issue at the ballot box in November, New Yorkers wanting to see real change in regard to public safety should vote Republican.
“I think really at the end of the day, this issue can only truly be resolved at the ballot box,” she said. “You need to elect a governor and members of the state legislature who are committed to repealing or, at minimum, fixing this to stop this law. And we need to elect judges who are law and order judges. And we need to elect prosecutors that are actually going to prosecute crimes. So really, it is up to the people in New York state to change this environment of skyrocketing crime and no accountability for criminals.”