Andrew Cuomo has weaponized the state’s chief ethics panel

In what ought to be a damning blow, another member of the state Joint Commission on Public Ethics reports that appointees of Gov. Andrew Cuomo get info that’s withheld from other commissioners.

And Gary Lavine ought to know: He was a Cuomo appointee for seven years, before being returned to JCOPE by Senate Republicans. His charge also echoes a similar complaint from ex-commissioner Ravi Batra, who was a Senate Democratic pick for the panel.

From its inception, virtually all of JCOPE’s top staff have been former Cuomo aides, with many returning to his staff afterward. In short, it’s not an ethics watchdog so much as a way for the gov to weaponize ethics charges against others.

And to squelch probes he dislikes, such as of obvious campaign-law violations by his former right-hand man, Joseph Percoco.

As we wrote in March: “The only way to get at this state’s deep-rooted corruption is to end-run the insiders” — with the creation of a truly independent ethics panel, as state Sen. Liz Krueger (D-Manhattan) and others propose.

Newzandar News

Related Post: