Governor Cuomo Appoints Commission to Investigate Public Corruption

July 2, 2013

Following through on a promise of action in the event public corruption reforms were not adopted, Governor Cuomo today announced appointment of a 25-member commission to investigate public corruption.  Attorney General Schneiderman announced that the members of the Commission will be appointed as Deputy Attorneys General.

Clothed with subpoena power, the Commission is charged with “thoroughly reviewing the adequacy of existing state laws, regulations and procedures involving unethical and unlawful misconduct by public officials, and the electoral process and campaign finance laws.”  Areas of focus will include:

• Criminal statutes for corruption and misconduct by public officials, such as bribery laws.

• Campaign financing including: contribution limits and other restrictions; disclosure of third-party contributions and expenditures.

• Compliance of outside organizations and persons with existing lobbying laws, including  organizations engaged in lobbying and other efforts to influence public policies.

• Adequacy and enforcement of the State’s election laws and electoral process including: the structure and composition of the State and County Boards of Elections, the Board of Elections’ enforcement, and the effectiveness of and compliance with existing election laws.

The Commission will refer any evidence of violations of existing law to the appropriate law enforcement agencies, including the Attorney General.  It is also directed to review the effectiveness of existing laws and to make recommendations to toughen and improve existing laws and procedures. 

Given that the Commission must issue a preliminary report by December 1, 2013, we expect that it will begin its work immediately.

Tag: New York State