NEW YORK (AP & WXXI News) — A New York assemblyman who worked to make banking and finance more consumer-friendly and earned respect for working across the political aisle during 42 years in office has died. Herman "Denny" Farrell was 86 and retired just last year.
Farrell's family says he died early Saturday. A family statement, provided by current Assemblyman Al Taylor, didn't give a cause of death.
The Harlem Democrat was first elected in 1975 and headed the Assembly banking committee and later the powerful Ways & Means Committee. He spearheaded legislation that required banks to offer low-cost checking accounts and created a free state consumer hotline for credit card rate and fee information.
Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo says Farrell "exemplified the best of politics."
Assembly Majority Leader Joe Morelle, (D-Irondequoit) says that Farrell, "Set an example of kindness, respect, and commitment to the work of serving others that is often sorely lacking in the politics of today."
Assembly Republican Leader Brian Kolb of Canandaigua calls him "a true gentleman."