Section 284 under the Penal Law prescribes that it is possible to convict a civil servant of the offense of breach of allegiance should it be proven that he had committed an act of breach of allegiance or fraud, when serving in office, and this even where such an act had not been deemed an offense if it had been committed against an individual.
A civil servant committing, while serving in office, an act of fraud or breach of allegiance compromising the public, even where such an act not constitute an offense had it been committed against an individual, is expected to be sentenced to three years’ imprisonment. Pursuant to this section, breach of allegiance may be any action taken by a civil servant in conflict of interest. So basically, even where such had not constituted a criminal offense had it been committed by a private person, when a civil servant carries out actions that may compromise the public trust, he may be charged with serious offenses of fraud and breach of allegiance.
The criminal prohibition on breach of allegiance is intended to maintain the protected values that protect the image of public service, maintaining integrity and fair and honest conduct as well as protection of the public interest.
Risks and punishment
A civil servant violating the trust that had been vested in him and acts in a manner that does not realize the interest he had been entrusted with – is breaching allegiance