ALBANY, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP) — Political foes of Gov. Andrew Cuomo have called for a prompt criminal investigation of his administration, following a New York Times report that said Cuomo’s office repeatedly compromised the work of a commission the governor set up to root out corruption.
As CBS 2 Political Reporter Marcia Kramer reported, when Cuomo first ran for governor, it was with the promise to stop corruption in Albany.
As New York state Attorney General, he launched investigations into a number of corrupt politicians – including then-state Sen. Pedro Espada Jr., who was convicted and sent to prison.
“The chronic dysfunction of Albany metastasized into the corruption of Albany, and it was a bipartisan affliction,” Cuomo said while running for governor in May 2010. “Unfortunately, Albany’s antics today could make Boss Tweed blush.”
Thus, it was no great surprise when he named a special commission – the Moreland Commission – last year to probe corruption and make recommendations for ethics reform.
“I want to send a signal to two audiences — one are the elected officials in the state of New York — we’re going to raise the bar on public integrity; public trust. And second are the people of the state. I want to say ‘Look, we have the best people in the business watching,’” Cuomo said in July 2013.
But though it was launched on vows of independence, the now-defunct Moreland Commission was “hobbled,” the Times reported.
Cuomo’s office thwarted attempts by the special corruption commission to investigate groups with ties to him, according to the report.
The newspaper claimed Cuomo’s office objected “whenever the commission focused on groups with ties to Mr. Cuomo or on issues that might reflect poorly on him.”