Saturday, April 19, 2014

Failed Moreland Commission Leadership Haunting Kathleen Rice's Congressional Race

Scott Levenson NY-CLASS Christine Quinn Bill de Blasio FBI Investigation into Campaign Corruption photo 2014-04-25TheNewYorkDailyNewsFBIReport_zps189d95ac.png

In the past few weeks, FBI agents have been asking questions about the campaign by the animal rights group NY-CLASS to strong arm former Council Speaker Christine Quinn (center) to support a ban on the iconic horse-drawn carriages, two sources familiar with the matter told The New York Daily News. The horse lobbyists in question include Scott Levenson, and they are linked to Mayor Bill de Blasio (inset). (FBI investigating claim that Christine Quinn was threatened by Scott Levenson for refusing to support carriage horse ban during the mayoral race * The New York Daily News)

PUBLISHED : SAT, 19 APR 2014, 11:37 AM
UPDATED : FRI, 25 APR 2014, 12:02 PM

Has Long Island Prosecutor Kathleen Rice's Reputation Taken a Hit Because of the Controversial Politicisation of the Failed Moreland Commission ?

One of the former co-chairs of the Moreland Commission, Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice, ditched her responsibilities on the Moreland Commission once she had gained enough fame to run for Congress. Now, one of Ms. Rice's challengers for the Congressional seat has laid political blame for the failed Moreland Commission on Ms. Rice. Legislative Minority Leader Kevan Abrahams told Newsday, “I believe the Moreland Commission failed because of Kathleen Rice’s lack of leadership.” It's unknown, yet, how voters will judge each of her term on the Moreland Commission and how quickly she appeared to abandon her public corruption investigation duties as soon as Rep. Carolyn McCarthy announced her retirement.

Gov. Cuomo's disbanding of the Moreland Commission has triggered a huge political and prosecutorial backlash from good government groups to the top federal prosecutor in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York.

Andrew Cuomo Kathleen Rice Maitre Karlsson photo andrew-cuomo-kathleen-rice-maitre-karlsson_zpsf2dca878.jpg

Critics question how deeply corruption panel co-chair Kathleen Rice would probe Sheldon Silver after campaign contributions.

Before its disbanding, state officials and government reform activists questioned how aggressively Gov. Cuomo's corruption panel would investigate Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, after the law firm that employed Mr. Silver gave nearly $300,000 in campaign donations to Ms. Rice. (The New York Daily News)* Governor’s Crusade Against Corruption Comes With Too Many Asterisks (NYTimes) * To Gut Independence of Moreland Commission, Gov. Cuomo appointed Kathleen Rice as co-chair. Ms. Rice had been Cuomo's favourite for Attorney General before Eric Schneiderman won the AG race. (Capital New York) * Gov. Cuomo's naming of Ms. Rice to co-chair of Moreland Commission was a way to cut out Mr. Schneiderman from Moreland investigation of political and campaign corruption.

U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara has said that a "show me the money" culture pervades all of New York government, and many bloggers and government reform activists agree. Last year, the political blogger and YouTube producer Suzannah B. Troy confronted New York Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, and she asked him, "Are you part of the corruption ?"


  1. To: Kathleen Rice (
    Commissioner: Moreland Commission to Investigate Public Corruption


    Re: Illegal Tampering With Evidence by Commissioners and/or Staff of the Moreland Commission on Public Corruption.

    Dear Commissioner Rice,

    On December 17th, 2013 the Black Star News published my article alleging felonious criminal activities by members of the Moreland Commission on Public Corruption. I also published these allegations in a blog.

    The Blackstar News article and the blog alleged that the Moreland Commission illegally tampered with the evidence, by intentionally altering the official transcript for the purpose of protecting certain favored parties from investigation, in violation of many state and federal felony laws.

    This letter is being sent to you personally to assure and document your awareness of these allegations. Whether or not you were personally complicit in these alleged felonies, you are now aware of the allegations, and it is your legal responsibility, under the rules of the Moreland Commission ¶ lV, to report them to the proper authorities, including the FBI.

    We have already requested a response from Commission Spokesperson Michelle Duffy, but she has failed to answer any correspondence. We are therefore asking you and your fellow commission members if there are any facts or conclusions in the Blackstar News article or the blog with which you take exception.

    The Blackstar News and the “Moreland Commission Exposed” blog will publish responses to these allegations from anyone associated with the Commission. In any case we will publish a follow up article on this matter, which will include any response (or report the lack thereof) from you and your fellow commission members.


    Will Galison
    Reporter, Blackstar News,


  3. To: Preet Bharara
    United States Attorney Southern District, New York
    Re: Civilian Crime Report Against the Moreland Commission on Public Corruption
    March 14, 2014

    Dear Mr. Bharara;
    At the September 17th, 2013 Moreland Commission public hearing in NYC, you extolled the role of investigative reporters:

    "So to repeat a longstanding comment of investigative journalists, I think they have become a dying breed, although there are still a few extraordinary practitioners, some of who I think are here and watching this evening. But with each press outlet that closes or downsizes, opportunities to ferret out fraud and waste and abuse are lost, and that is too bad because, as Edward R. Murrow once observed, quote, "a nation of sheep will beget a government of wolves." But maybe the ranks of investigative journalists will be fortified. ... maybe fresh new outlets whose editors are bent on doubling down on political investigations, will provide grist for commissions like this one."

    I am one of the “extraordinary practitioners” of investigative journalism who was present at the commission hearing and was watching when you spoke those words and I write for two outlets whose editors are indeed bent on exposing political corruption; and the Blackstar News. My recent articles document, respectively, the murder of anti-corruption whistleblower Sunny Sheu and corruption in the nomination and confirmation of NY State Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman, two important stories otherwise unreported in the mainstream news.

    My latest article in the Blackstar News exposes criminal acts by members of the Moreland Commission on Public Corruption itself. Specifically, it shows how members of the Moreland Commission maliciously altered the official transcript testimony of citizen witnesses, ostensibly to remove the names of certain favored parties from the official record. This constitutes violation of federal laws in the Southern District of NY State. Furthermore, according to Precise Court Reporters, the company that transcribed the hearings, the Moreland Commission specifically forbade them from making corrections to the official transcript, including misspellings of the names of witnesses.

    These acts constitute a federal crimes under 18 U.S. Code § 1512, including: (c) Whoever corruptly— (1) alters, destroys, mutilates, or conceals a record, document, or other object, or
    attempts to do so, with the intent to impair the object’s integrity or availability for use in an official proceeding... shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 20 years, or both.
    I am hereby submitting the Blackstar News article to you as evidence in a formal Civilian Crime Report. I am submitting this complaint under oath and with full understanding that any false statements therein expose me to prosecution under 18 U.S.C. Section 1001. Under law, you have two options in regard to this complaint. If the information in my complaint is true, you must investigate and prosecute the subjects of the complaint. If the information is untrue, you must arrest me for lying to a federal officer. Failure to perform one or the other would represent dereliction of duty by your office.

    Investigative journalism is only valuable to the extent that it motivates politicians and law enforcement officials such as yourself to act. We do our job and we expect you to do yours. Law enforcement's failure to act on crimes reported by investigative journalists renders encouragement and enablement to criminals, and discourages and endangers the very journalists you praised at the September 17th hearing.

    Please confirm receipt of this complaint. I look forward either to being contacted for more information on this case, or to being arrested for lying to a Federal Officer. I hereby swear that the information contained in this letter and the attached article are true to the best of my knowledge.

    Will Galison Reporter, Blackstar News