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Sunday, September 9, 2007

One of the Few to Confront Corruption Flees Albany...CLICK HERE FOR FULL STORY

Remember the words of David Grandeau, "Ethics matters." The nearly-lone, and lonely, man in Albany overseeing state lobbying ethics, David Grandeau, is leaving. He was one of the few to speak up to the powerful about the lacking ethics in the game of politics. How he lasted 13 year in New York's ethical sewer, all the while speaking up for what was right and confronting what was improper, will forever remain a mystery....

Once again, The Daily News and Joe Mahoney come through with a great article. Unfortunately, most New Yorkers have never heard of David Grandeau or his work. Grandeau should not be quickly forgotten. Pass this article around:

Ethics 'worse' in Albany, says watchdog David Grandeau


Sunday, September 9th 2007

ALBANY - As New York's chief lobbying watchdog for 13 years, David Grandeau tangled with governors, legislative leaders, influence peddlers and Donald Trump.

He even tackled Joe Namath when the Jets legend bestowed on Joe Bruno, the state Senate majority leader, an autographed football that Grandeau reasoned violated a ban on gifts worth more than $75.

Now the state Temporary Commission on Lobbying is going out of business Sept. 21, with its remnants merged into a new Public Integrity Commission. Though good government advocates have often called him the only cop on the beat in Albany, Grandeau won't be at the helm. He didn't even make the team.

A beefy man who enjoys playing on a local curling team, Grandeau, 48, says he leaves state government keenly aware he has no friends in high places.

"I did my job, and I did it for 13 years without fear or favor, and I did it without pity or consideration to the political parties or the connections of the people we investigated," Grandeau said.

Assessing the current ethical climate in Albany - where news this summer was dominated by a scheme by Spitzer aides to damage Bruno and the senator's use of state aircraft - Grandeau said: "It's getting worse."

And having an integrity commission controlled by the governor, he reasoned, won't shake the public perception that misdeeds are papered over. "You're going to see that integrity [commission] investigations have serious partisan political overtones."
Amid the battles among state leaders, he wryly noted, "One of the few things they have been able to agree on is it's a good idea to get rid of me."

Over the years, Grandeau has embarrassed Democratic Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver for getting a discount rate on a deluxe Las Vegas hotel room from a casino company looking to expand to New York. He also socked Trump with a $250,000 fine for secretly bankrolling ads attacking an Indian tribe looking to open a Catskills casino.

In his final weeks, he has taken on Bruno associate Jared Abbruzzese, who was involved in a group eying the state racing franchise while treating the senator to rides on his private plane.

Critics accuse Grandeau of being a headline-hunter who has carried out personal vendettas.

"He's unique and dramatic, and if someone could make ethics sing and dance, it's David Grandeau," said James Featherstonhaugh, a lobbyist for four decades. "But I don't think he wisely used his prosecutorial discretion. He didn't seem to distinguish between important wrongs and honest mistakes."

Grandeau plans to become a consultant to companies on how to comply with the state's complicated lobbying laws and ethics rules. "There is a competitive advantage to doing things the right way," he said. "Ethics matters."

See the New York Daily News Article to the right: David Grandeau, "Ethics matters."


Anonymous said...

You gotta be kidding! David Grandeau is a pompous, preening jerk with no understanding of the laws he is supposed to enforce. Shelly Silver takes hundreds of thousands from a PI law firm for which he does no work in return for killing tort reform. Where was Grandeau? Hassling Joe Bruno about a $75 football!

Anonymous said...

Hey, I know David. And yes, he could've done A LOT more. But at least he did SOMETHING. You know, the old saying "something is better than nothing." Yes, David can be pompous, (OK, he's always pompous) but to do ANYTHING about the corruption in New York is a good thing. And David confronted Shelly with more than a football, as I'm sure you're quite aware.

Anonymous said...

I have heard about these things from someone who was very well versed in the Winston Story. I had been a long time Westchester Resident. Based on what I was told I decided to move to Florida to get away from all this, so that is where I will die.

Anonymous said...

I certainly i understand why you moved, but to stay would show these thugs that the taxpayers will and are ready to fight. you should realize that if other states see what NY got away with they will try the same, and you will die in a state of the same situation, albeit....sunnier!

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See Video of Senator John L. Sampson's 1st Hearing on Court 'Ethics' Corruption

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               Video of 1st Hearing on Court 'Ethics' Corruption
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