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Sunday, June 5, 2011

More On Make-Believe Ethics

Cuomo, Lawmakers Agree on Ethics Reform
The New York Law Journal by Joel Stashenko  -  June 6, 2011

Legislators who are attorneys will have to disclose their legal clients and those of their firms if those clients are doing business with the state, are involved in proceedings before state agencies or are seeking to get legislation passed under an agreement on ethics reforms announced Friday by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and legislative leaders.  The long-discussed bill, dubbed the Clean Up Albany Act of 2011, will create a new Joint Commission on Public Ethics to take the place of the Commission on Public Integrity, and give the new entity authority to punish corruption in both the executive and legislative branches and to regulate lobbyists. The public integrity commission has no power to investigate legislative misdeeds. The measure will also establish a new civil forfeiture proceeding in which the attorney general or local prosecutors can seek to strip the government pensions of officials convicted of felonies related to their public duties.

Mr. Cuomo, Senate Republican Majority Leader Dean Skelos, R-Rockville Centre, and Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, D-Manhattan, jointly announced the agreement on the legislation. They said it would be adopted by the Legislature before lawmakers conclude their regular session later this month.  "This new measure will enhance transparency in our government and ensure both independent and fair enforcement of our ethics laws," Stephen P. Younger of Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler, the past president of the New York State Bar Association, said in the statement announcing the deal. The governor's office said that Mr. Younger was speaking for the state bar.  In a separate statement, the president of the New York City Bar, Samuel W. Seymour of Sullivan & Cromwell, also said he favored the ethics agreement. "We are particularly pleased that the legislation for the first time will require disclosure of legislators' clients, something we have argued is both necessary and fully in keeping with ethical responsibilities," he said. "While we would have preferred a still broader disclosure regime, this approach will provide meaningful information with which the public can examine legislators' outside activities in relation to what their responsibilities are to the people of this state."  A spokesman for the city bar said the group favored the disclosure of all clients of legislators or their firms, even those who have no dealings with the state. But a state bar task force named by Mr. Younger expressed skepticism about broad disclosure.  The new Joint Commission on Public Ethics would consist of 14 members, six appointed by the governor and eight by the four legislative leaders. The governor would appoint the chairman. The governor's control of the current commission—he appoints seven of 13 members—has rankled some legislators and advocates of ethics reform. Members of the new commission would be prohibited from donating to the campaigns of state lawmakers or executive officers during their terms on the panel. The new legislation will also require more complete financial disclosure of registered lobbyists and their dealings with clients with whom they do $1,000 or more of busines.


Anonymous said...

"The public integrity commission has no power to investigate legislative misdeeds."

What's that supposed to mean?

"The measure will also establish a new civil forfeiture proceeding in which the attorney general or local prosecutors can seek to strip the government pensions of officials convicted of felonies related to their public duties."

They are under the assumption that these people would actually investigate something in the first place. I think everyone here knows that there is absolutely no chance of that.

I would also like to know if the complaints will be public information as well as the findings of this commission.

This looks like just more smoke an mirrors.

Anonymous said...

they should allow the people not the political hacks to look sit on the pannel. Also if they wanted to hold them to it they would make stiff fines and federal criminal charges. i think that was 1 reason why they had so much trouble getting Bruno, thier are no laws that really defines what is wrong when they take money or gifts.
Lets just say they are charged and found guilty of swaying a 200M contract, what will they do to them give them a $100 fine.
So now they will just give thier daughter or son a good do nothing job. maybe they will give the pol`s wife a Lexus.
If this was a real law Sampson and Silver would have been out in front against it.
This reform is nothing but a joke and so Cuomo will get his name in the paper.

Anonymous said...

The Chief Fox Cuomo is in charge of the hen/ethics house and we're all in big trouble because the gangsters are running the place.

Rotten from the top down said...

Cuomo Smoke and Mirror Alert:
We need prosecutions, not ethics commissions. Cuomo hack infested commissions will cover-up crimes and delay prosecutions indefinitely while they investigate. More Rangels will cry and be forgiven.

Prince Cuomo is taking his advice from this quote:
A committee is a cul-de-sac down which ideas are lured and then quietly strangled. ~Barnett Cocks, attributed.
and perverting it to lure potential criminal charges into toothless, endless, ethics investigations in front of his appointed hacks.

Anonymous said...

What they really need on these commissions is guys like you and me. The rest is just a lot of BS.

You folks remember how hyped up we were with the Sampson Hearings? I actually believed something was going to come of it. The only thing that was accomplished is Sampson landed a high paying job with a law firm. Mission Accomplished. He didn't bother to do the 4th Hearing promised for Buffalo. I guess he was 'all couped out.'

The NYS SIC was once a reasonably effective commission. After the 1989 Suffolk County misconduct probe the SIC had its funding stripped of more than 50% of its funding. What Andy's father didn't realize when he ordered the Commission to conduct that investigation is he appointed an honest and fearless man named David Trager to head it. Trager went on to become the very high principaled federal judge David Trager. A man of absolute integrity. It then quickly became a political tool of the politicians. continued....

Anonymous said...

continued....... After the Suffolk County investigation the SIC became known as a bi-paritson commission. All it really became was a propaganda white wash commission.

I knew several people on the post Suffolk Commission. One of those persons was the Chairman of the SIC. Despite the fact these were honest and decent people they were frustrated in doing their jobs.

This is how it worked. When a matter came to their attention it was brought before a board of commissioners, comprised of GOP and Dem appointments. To order a investigation it had to be made with the unamanious vote of ALL the commissioners. If only ONE comissioners vetoed the investigation there would be no investigation. You didn't need a reason to decline, all that was needed was one dissenter.

Was this written in the charter? Of course it wasn't, but it absolutely was the policy. One hand washed the other.

Of course the SIC conducted investigations but those were left to those that could be sacrificed to give the appearance the SIC was doing the people's work.

If Governor Paterson only accomplished one meaningful thing during his tenure as governor, it was the abolishment of the SIC - March 2009 when he refused to fund this farce created by political hacks to protect themselves from investigation.

Trust me, this new commission will be a mirror of what the SIC became. Fill it with hacks to do their bidding.


Anonymous said...

continued.....When I brought a serious matter of corruption to NYS, I first petitioned the - then AG Andy Cuomo. He 'lost' my initial complaint, or said he never received it. BS.

I then brought my complaint to the SIC. The complaint was directed at one particular district attorney, Tom Spota. The SIC, then - during the reign of Eliot Spitzer. The SIC was not the least bit interested in the bulk of the complaint, they were only interested of my inter-actions with Cuomo. The SIC was being used to destroy the presumed candidacy of Cuomo when he ran against Spitzer.

A couple of months later Spitzer was forced to resign. The SIC knew where their bread was going to be buttered, and they quickly put aside my investigation, and the many others I became aware of - just like that.

Several months later I received a letter from the SIC advising me they coud find no wrongdoing on the part of Spota. That very same letter was posted on Spota's website,with my name and address. It was entered on 7/7.

Several months later the Tankleff Investigation suffered the same fate: No wrongdoing on the past of the SCPD and DA.

Cuomo is a joke pretending to be a statesman. Nothing could be further from the truth.

The Nadjari Special Prosecutor investigations came to a schreeching halt once Rockefeller was out of the picture. Rockefeller was always able to be ahead of the curve on many issues looming in our future. He gave Nadjari full rein. Clean out the nest of corruption in the CJS. He went after the judges as his first priority and got many convictions, only to be set aside by the appellate courts.

Anonymous said...

Yesterday the Buffalo News wrote their entire editorial page on how the Buffalo City Ct Housing division was much toooooo lenient...their whole editorial page..nothing else.
The article dogged the court's determinations on property owned by the ex-Governor -candidate Carl Paladino', as the reason for their article...exclusively.
The Judge who singularly makes decisions in that court...was never mentioned by name in that entire lenghty article and the Buffalo News made it appear that the court was run by some board or commission from out of why mention names.
If the Buffalo News has a problem with how one judge operates his courtroom...then that should be reported to the public..not just the fact that a particular court function is not to their liking...all the work of the singular judge who has an acting title outside of his elected city court bench...then it MUST be printed honestly and accurately.
So you see how the media in upstate circumvents judicial criticism, even though the well read Buffalo News feels strongly...that this Judge has a problem.
The public was left to guess what 'JUDGE" is inaffective and why did they protect him or was this article about the Buffalo News' vendetta against Paladino's purchase of a billboard condemning Stan Lipsey of the News and their support of Cuomo over him in the Governor's race.
Buffalo/upstate is big on Cuomo, as they do not know a lot about him, as well as he is often here promoting this area...and the News cannot be more giddy that he is Governor.
So upstate will keep Cuomo alive for yrs and the Buffalo News will never out even when they are in dispute with.... the criminal entity know as the OCA.

Blog Archive

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

The first hearing, held in Albany on June 8, 2009 hearing is on two videos:

               Video of 1st Hearing on Court 'Ethics' Corruption
               The June 8, 2009 hearing is on two videos:
               CLICK HERE TO SEE Part 1
               CLICK HERE TO SEE Part 2
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