To scuttle possibly devastating investigations into public corruption, Gov. Cuomo announced that he was closing his ethics commission
Was the Moreland Commission some kind of sick and twisted, do-nothing joke that is finally getting exposed on April Fool's Day ?
Some state legislators and good government groups speculated that Gov. Andrew Cuomo was embarrassed to have to endure the unwelcome distraction of multiple public corruption investigations during an election year, The New York Times is reporting.
- RELATED : Cuomo’s Push to End Moreland Commission Draws Backlash, Angers Government Reform Activists (The New York Times)
- RELATED : Twin $50,000 donations were made to Andrew Cuomo’s campaign by two companies that have the same address as Extell Financial Services, which is part of Extell Development Co. — one of five developers to receive hefty tax relief thanks to a bill signed by the governor two days after the contributions. (Gov. Cuomo got $100,000 from developer, then signed law giving it big tax breaks * The New York Daily News)
- RELATED : Manhattan-based Extell Development was one of five firms subpoenaed by the Moreland Commission last week. Its affiliates donated $100,000 to Cuomo's campaign days before he signed a bill earlier this year that included tax breaks for one of its marquee projects. (Cuomo real estate donors among Moreland subpoena targets * Times Union)
- RELATED : Gov. Cuomo is doing damage-control over anti-corruption commission subpoenas. (Governor Andrew Cuomo Quashes Moreland Commission’s REBNY Subpoena and Other Follow-The-Money Subpoenas Hitting Too Close To Home * Noticing New York)
- RELATED : The Advance Group Federal Complaint Referred To Moreland Commission (NYC : News & Analysis)
- RELATED : Scott Levenson, NY-CLASS, Citizens United Super PAC Investigation (NYC : News & Analysis)
- RELATED : Extell George Arzt Moreland Commission Christine Quinn One57 Connections (Christine Quinn Sold Out)
One of the co-chairs of the Moreland Commission, a Long Island district attorney, Kathleen Rice, is mounting a fun for Congress. It's unknown, yet, how voters will react to her abdication of her public corruption investigation duties.
Is Long Island Prosecutor Kathleen Rice's Reputation Going Down The Toilet ?
Critics question how deeply corruption panel co-chair Kathleen Rice would probe Sheldon Silver after campaign contributions.
State government officials are questioning how aggressively Gov. Cuomo's corruption panel would investigate Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, after the law firm that employed Silver gave nearly $300,000 in campaign donations to co-chair and Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice. (The New York Daily News)* Governor’s Crusade Against Corruption Comes With Too Many Asterisks (NYTimes) * To Gut Independence of Moreland Commission, Cuomo appointed Kathleen Rice as co-chair. Rice had been Cuomo's favourite for Attorney General before Eric Schneiderman won the AG race. (Capital New York) * Cuomo's naming of Rice to co-chair of Moreland Commission was a way to cut out Schneiderman from Moreland investigation of political corruption.
Another district attorney co-chair of the Moreland Commission, Bill Fitzpatrick, said that the public was deluded into thinking that the members of the Moreland Commission were "super cops," even though that's exactly the role that the state laws provide that gave rise to the commission in the first place. Already, a backlash appears to be growing amongst good government groups and government reform activists, who claim that members of the Moreland Commission appeared to do nothing more than Gov. Cuomo's political bidding. For example, when the Moreland Commission threatened to issue subpoenas to political supporters of the governor, the governor was said by some to have obstructed their efforts.
Last December, Eleanor Randolph appeared in the roundtable segment of The New York Times Close-up on NY1, and she expressed annoyance that one of the Moreland Commission's reports skipped over so many details of public corruption.
ICYMI Fitzpatrick on end of Moreland Commission: People erroneously thought we were 'super cops' http://t.co/JpZAQJJHI5— Teri Weaver (@TeriKWeaver) April 1, 2014
It's a good thing that federal prosecutors, who are presently engaged in a crackdown on public corruption, don't agree to be disbanded during election years. Otherwise, voters would really be in trouble.