Maffei Urges House Leaders To Take Action To Prevent Future Cases Like David Renz

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Representative Dan Maffei Tuesday urged House leaders to provide the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts the resources necessary to prevent a case like David Renz from ever happening again in Central New York or across the country.

During a colloquy with Rep. Jose Serrano, Ranking Member of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government, Rep. Maffei called attention to the Renz case and the critical funding issues facing the AO, the organization tasked with overseeing the system of federal probation offices all over the country.

“We have addressed the sequester for now, but serious funding issues remain,” Rep. Maffei said as part of his colloquy. “The AO is continuing to use their funding to backfill cuts they have had to make in previous years. We cannot allow funding issues to hamper efforts to prevent cases like this from happening again.  And to be clear, this has happened again, around the country.  I ask that the Committee take note of this serious problem and ensure that the Administrative Office get the funding it needs to enact real reform to protect our communities.”

In April 2014, Rep. Maffei made a formal request to the House Appropriations Committee for full funding for the AO because of concerns over funding levels that could restrict their ability to enact changes to the federal probation and pretrial services system.

In response to learning of the terrible tragedy and the apparent failure of the Syracuse probation office to properly monitor David Renz, Rep. Maffei has taken action to prevent a similar case from happening again, including:

• In May 2013, he sent a Letter to Judge Thomas Hogan, the Director of the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts, asking how these failures could happen and what needs to be done to prevent something like the Renz case from ever happening again, anywhere in the country.

• In June 2013, Rep. Maffei delivered a floor speech calling on his House colleagues to support an end to the automatic spending cuts as a result of sequestration to prevent a case like David Renz from ever happening again.

• In December 2013, Rep. Maffei introduced the “Federal Probation System Reform Act,” which would create an Inspector General to oversee all federal probation offices, establishes a nationwide standard for responding to electronic monitoring bracelet alerts, and makes it a federal crime to tamper with an electronic monitoring device.

• In January 2014, Rep. Maffei called on the independent, nonpartisan Government Accountability Office (GAO) to conduct a full investigation into the flawed electronic monitoring system that David Renz was able to exploit.