This is a criminal case where Defendant, a former Police Chief of Metro-North Commuter Railroad Company, has been indicted and charged with computer trespass in violation of Penal Law § 156.10(2), unauthorized use of a computer in violation of PL § 156.05), falsifying business records in the first degree in violation of PL § 175.10 and official misconduct in violation of PL § 195.00(1). A New York Criminal lawyer said that All charges arise from the alleged misuse of the New York State Police Information Network (NYSPIN), a computer system containing individual criminal histories. Defendant moves for an order seeking dismissal of the indictment on multiple grounds.
A public servant, to be guilty of official misconduct, must intend to obtain a benefit to himself. While PL § 10.00(17) defines a benefit as “including a gain or advantage to [another] person”, a fair reading of these words compels the conclusion that the benefit to another person must be at least indirectly of benefit to the accused, as, for example, a benefit to the accused’s family, to a friend or to the accused’s business., by using the words “and includes” rather than the word “or” limits “benefit” to a gain or advantage to the beneficiary.
There is nothing in the case law that contradicts this construction of PL § 195.00. In 1969, an upstate trial court recited the history of the statute and its predecessor provisions and held that the crime of official misconduct requires “[a] culpable motive which must be directly connected with the duty which the public servant violated and such motive must be of a venal nature”. It is a specific intent to obtain a benefit or to injure another person or deprive another person of a benefit”. A few courts have fleshed out the statutory definition of “benefit” in the context of bribery and bribe receiving under Penal Law Article 200.