Cuomo Defends Handling of Corruption Panel

Monday, 28 Jul 2014 04:43 PM

 

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
|  A   A  
  Copy Shortlink

Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Monday defended his handling of an anti-corruption commission, dismissing reports that his administration interfered with its work.

The Democrat said the Moreland Commission to Investigate Public Corruption he created last year and dismantled this spring made its own decisions and that his office only offered suggestions — which were later rejected by the commission.

"The commission took advice and opinion from many, many people," Cuomo told reporters following an economic development announcement in Buffalo. He said the commission showed its independence when it balked at his administration's suggestions.

"That's not a sign of interference," he said. "That is demonstrable proof of independence."

Members of the commission also defended its integrity Monday, saying they would not have permitted meddling by the governor's office.

The New York Times reported last week that a top Cuomo aide, Larry Schwartz, pressured commissioners to stop subpoenas to a media-buying firm Cuomo used and to the Real Estate Board of New York, whose members financially supported the governor's campaign.

The newspaper also reported that the commission was urged to steer clear of the Committee to Save New York, a lobbying group of CEOs and business groups that amassed some $17 million in donations from unidentified individuals who supported the governor early in his term with TV ads.

Cuomo said the commission accomplished its purpose because it prompted new laws to toughen bribery prosecutions and led to the creation of a new campaign finance oversight office. He said prosecutors can still pursue cases prompted by the commission's work.

The allegations come at a sensitive time for Cuomo, who hopes to win a second term by wide margins this November and who is widely believed to have presidential ambitions. His primary opponent — Fordham University law professor Zephyr Teachout — and Republican gubernatorial candidate Rob Astorino have criticized Cuomo's handling of the commission.

Cuomo appointed the commission last year to investigate corruption — and in particular pay-to-play campaign finance schemes. The panel was dominated by county district attorneys and was given subpoena power.

One of its three chairs, Onondaga County District Attorney William Fitzpatrick, said Monday that he would have resigned if Cuomo's administration had sought to direct its work.

"The bottom line is that nobody 'interfered' with me or my co-chairs," Fitzpatrick said in a statement.

Another commission member, Rockland County DA Thomas Zugibe, said Monday that the panel's decisions were "within the exclusive discretion" of its members.

U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara in Manhattan is now reviewing the commission's files. He has called the disbanding of the commission premature but said that federal prosecutors will aggressively complete its "important and unfinished" work.


© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
Email:
Country
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
 
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
Top Stories
You May Also Like

Secret Service Chief Says White House Breach 'Unacceptable'

Tuesday, 30 Sep 2014 10:49 AM

The head of the Secret Service took responsibility Tuesday for security lapses at the White House, saying a recent intru . . .

Rep. Chaffetz: Will Question Secret Service Director on Leadership, Protocol, Training

Tuesday, 30 Sep 2014 11:56 AM

Concerns about leadership, protocol, and training are at the top of the list of questions for Secret Service Director Ju . . .

McCain: Air Strikes Alone on ISIS Not Enough

Tuesday, 30 Sep 2014 11:43 AM

Arizona Sen. John McCain has warned that the United States mission to eradicate the Islamic State will fail unless the O . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, NewsmaxWorld, NewsmaxHealth, are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

 
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved