Updated: October 10, 2019 09:40 AM
Created: October 10, 2019 09:40 AM
HAMBURG, N.Y. (WHEC) — The man who now-former U.S. Congressman Chris Collins defeated in 2018 is calling on the judge in his insider trading case to force him to return his salary and forfeit his pension as part of sentencing.
Nate McMurray, the Democrat who is running again for New York's 27th Congressional District, says he sent a letter to Judge Vernon Broderick asking the judge to consider the order, which would apply to Collins' pay since his initial indictment in August 2018.
On Oct. 1, Collins pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit securities fraud and making false statements, just a day after he resigned from the House of Representatives.
McMurray, once the Grand Island Town Supervisor, released his full letter to the judge in a press release on Thursday. It is reprinted below.
Honorable Judge Broderick,
I am writing to you to express my thoughts regarding the sentencing of Chris Collins.
Last year, I ran and lost a race to replace Mr. Collins in the United States House of Representatives. I am proud of that campaign and our opposition to Mr. Collins. I say this to fully disclose any perceived bias or subjectivity. I share my comments with full sincerity and an understanding of the possible consequences of my words.
First, I want to acknowledge that much about this case is inherently tragic. A district has been denied its due representation in Congress; an individual of great promise, a fellow Eagle Scout no less, betrayed his constituents and will forever have his name tainted; a son followed his father’s request and now stands on the verge of incarceration and a lifetime defined by a criminal act not of his own creation. I have true sympathy for everyone caught up in Mr. Collins’ web of illegal activity and look forward to our district moving on.
Nevertheless, justice must be served, and Mr. Collins’ actions and character must be examined. Following the indictment in August of 2018, Mr. Collins continually lied to voters by proclaiming his innocence and ultimately won re-election. As a member of Congress, Mr. Collins said he worked for his donors—not the people of Batavia, Hamburg, Canandaigua, Warsaw, or the countless other small towns and communities within New York’s 27th District. Following his guilty plea last week, Mr. Collins has admitted that his actions were in fact illegal; that he knew they were illegal; and that his claims of innocence were false. He knowingly abused the trust of the people of Western New York.
I stand with many who are angered by Mr. Collins’ actions, but I find some discomfort celebrating anyone’s demise, even his. However, with his re-election predicated on an admittedly false claim of innocence, I urge that in sentencing, you recognize this fraud on the taxpayers of this nation and the people of New York’s 27th Congressional District and require him, in addition to whatever other penalties you deem appropriate, to repay his salary from the date of his indictment until his resignation and forfeit his taxpayer-funded pension.
Nathan D. McMurray
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