NY Governor signs legislation designed to help Cariol Horne file for pension benefits

Buffalo

BUFFALO, NY (WIVB) — Fifteen years after an incident that caused a Buffalo Police officer to lose her job, New York Governor Kathy Hochul signed very specific legislation Wednesday, aimed at clearing up the red tape which has kept the officer for filing for pension benefits.

“I am definitely elated that she signed it,” said Cariol Horne, who only months away from reaching 20 year eligibility for her pension as a Buffalo Police officer when she tried to stop a fellow officer from exerting what she considered to be excessive force on a suspect in 2006. She eventually was fired from the force. But since then a judge ruled the city was wrong to terminate her and the City of Buffalo even passed a new law bearing her name and requiring Buffalo officers to step in if they see excessive force.

But because the officer she tried to stop is still suing her for defamation, she hasn’t filed for her pension until now. Governor Hochul signed legislation declaring her pension eligible with a retroactive retirement date of August 5, 2010.

“New York owes Cariol Horne a debt of gratitude for her service to the Buffalo community and for her bravery in a moment of crisis,” said Governor Hochul in a press release. “I am proud to sign this law which will correct a longstanding injustice and ensure that Officer Horne is treated with the dignity and respect she deserves.”

Horne was flattered by those statements. “To hear those words, it makes me feel really great to know that someone understands, and you asked that if I thought that 10 or 12 years ago that I would hear those words, that’s what I was fighting for to hear those words and then to hear it from a female governor makes it all the more special.”

George Richert is an award-winning reporter who first joined the News 4 team in 1998, later returning in 2018. See more of his work here.

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