Thursday, May 22, 2014

Former Members of do-nothing Moreland Commission will receive taxpayer-paid criminal legal defense representation

Even investigators of rampant corruption need legal counsel to fend off investigations of corruption, how's that for government integrity ?

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has arranged for Michael Koenig, a former federal prosecutor who is now a partner at Hinckley, Allen & Snyder LLP, a law firm specializing in government investigations, to represent the former members of the do-nothing, now-defunct Moreland Commission. Taxpayers will pay for Mr. Koenig's representation of the Moreland Commission ex-members.

Once empaneled, the members of the Moreland Commission were nominally tasked with investigating runaway political and campaign finance corruption across New York State, but the Moreland Commission never, ever -- not once -- prosecuted any crime. In the run-up to his re-election campaign this year, Gov. Cuomo disbanded the Moreland Commission, before it exposed any corruption that would embarrass him during a gubernatorial election year that may determine whether he will ever be popular enough to run in 2016 for president of the United States, a victorious dream that eluded his father, former Gov. Mario Cuomo, in part, some say, because of potential controversies in Andrew's young adulthood.

It was reported earlier that U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara had empaneled a grand jury, which was issuing subpoenas right and left, from Manhattan all the way up to Albany, for records of what exactly the do-nothing members of the Moreland Commission actually did. A member of the Editorial Board of The New York Times, Eleanor Randolph, had previously complained that the Moreland Commission's first interim report was watered down to the point of being practically meaningless. That the members of the Moreland Commission believe that they need criminal defense representation has led some legal observers in the New York City activism circles to conclude that perhaps federal prosecutors were obligated to go on the record about possible forthcoming criminal indictments.

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