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Clinton Calls Pataki to Give Full Benefits to NYPD Daughter

 
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 13, 2006 1:36 pm    Post subject: Clinton Calls Pataki to Give Full Benefits to NYPD Daughter
From Thu Apr 13, 2006 3:00 am to Sun Apr 16, 2006 2:59 am (included)
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April 13, 2006

Menendez, Lautenberg, Schumer, Clinton Call on Pataki to Give Full Benefits to Daughter of NYPD Officer

NYPD Detective’s Death ‘Directly Related’ to Ground Zero Work; Urges Legislation to Retroactively Reclassify Others Who Later Die From Ground Zero-Related Illness

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Frank R. Lautenberg (D-NJ), Charles E. Schumer (D-NY) and Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY) today called on New York Governor George Pataki and other Empire State legislative leaders to pass legislation providing full death benefits to the orphan of an NYPD detective who died from an illness directly related to his work at Ground Zero following 9/11. The senators said the legislation should allow “retroactive reclassification,” which would pay full benefits to the beneficiaries of all those who die from injuries later linked to their work at Ground Zero.

James Zadroga, a New Jersey resident at the time of his death, was an NYPD detective who died recently due to complications that doctors say stem directly from his work at Ground Zero following the 9/11 attacks. He became ill just weeks after working at Ground Zero, but because he retired in 2004, the New York Police Department has determined that his four-year old daughter Tylerann can only receive a disability pension, instead of the full death benefit to which she should be entitled. The senators called on New York officials to provide full benefits to Tylerann and other beneficiaries like her.

“All of our constituents take great pride in the heroism they displayed, and we also join in demanding that their service not be forgotten,” the lawmakers wrote. “We urge you and the New York State Legislature to enact legislation immediately that allows for retroactive reclassification, which would provide Tylerann and other families the benefits they are due.”

Governor Pataki last year signed legislation into law that extends disability benefits to workers who sustained injuries from their duties at Ground Zero. The bill also created a September 11th Worker Protection Task Force to “review and examine evidence about adverse health effects on workers who participated in the World Trade Center efforts.” This Task Force was created to identify federal sources of funding to provide the benefits conferred by the bill.

“Unfortunately, Detective Zadroga’s death will not be the last to be suffered by the brave Americans who rushed to Ground Zero in the hours and days after September 11,” the lawmakers said. “In the months ahead, we hope we can work together to ensure that the heroes from both our states who sacrificed their health – and in Detective Zadroga’s case, his life – will be justly compensated.

“We owe them nothing less.”

# # #

April 13, 2006

The Honorable George E. Pataki

Governor

State of New York State Capitol Albany, NY 12224 Dear Governor Pataki:

We are writing regarding the death of New York City Police Detective James Zadroga, who at the time of his passing was a New Jersey resident. A recent autopsy determined that his death was directly related to his exposure to airborne toxic fumes and dust at Ground Zero in the days and weeks following the September 11th terrorist attacks – the first time a medical examiner has found that the work performed by so many at Ground Zero has resulted in death.

Detective Zadroga served with great courage in the line of duty and paid the ultimate sacrifice for his heroism. He became ill just weeks after working at Ground Zero, but because he retired in 2004, the New York Police Department has determined that his four-year old daughter, Tylerann, can only receive a disability pension, instead of the full death benefit to which she should be entitled. Detective Zadroga’s death left Tylerann an orphan who will now be raised by her grandparents. Her family needs your assistance in securing for Tylerann the benefits that her late father so clearly earned. Make no mistake about it: Detective Zadroga died in the line of duty, and his family should be afforded the benefits that status carries.

Unfortunately, Detective Zadroga’s death will not be the last to be suffered by the brave Americans who rushed to Ground Zero in the hours and days after September 11. Many of the police officers, firefighters, and other rescue workers were New Jerseyans and New Yorkers. All of our constituents take great pride in the heroism they displayed, and we also join in demanding that their service not be forgotten. We urge you and the New York State Legislature to enact legislation immediately that allows for retroactive reclassification, which would provide Tylerann and other families the benefits they are due.

Last year, you signed into law legislation that, among other things, established the September 11 Worker Protection Task Force to review evidence on the adverse health effects to workers who participated in the World Trade Center efforts. This Task Force was created to identify federal sources of funding to provide the benefits conferred by the bill. We hope you will ensure that this Task Force is up and running as soon as possible.

In the months ahead, we hope we can work together to ensure that the heroes from both our states who sacrificed their health – and in Detective Zadroga’s case, his life – will be justly compensated. We owe them nothing less.

Sincerely,

ROBERT MENENDEZ

FRANK R. LAUTENBERG

CHARLES SCHUMER

HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON

United States Senators

cc: The Honorable Joseph L. Bruno

The Honorable Sheldon Silver
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