Cuomo's corruption commission will subpoena some lawmakers

Oct 16, 2013

A corruption commission appointed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo has voted to issue subpoenas to some members of the legislature to force them to disclose money paid to them by private law clients.

The Moreland Act commission wrote letters to state senators and assemblymembers who make more than $20,000 a year from outside legal clients, a figure that includes all of the major party legislative leaders. The legislature hired attorneys, who said no.

In a statement, the Moreland commissioners, which include several district attorneys, say they will aggressively move forward to compel lawmakers to disclose the information. A source says subpoenas will be issued.

The announcement comes at a time when the commission, and Cuomo, have been criticized in newspaper columns and editorials for appearing to waver on a commitment to fully probe corruption.

Susan Lerner, with Common Cause, says it’s a sign that the commission is righting itself.

“It’s encouraging to see the Moreland Commission asserting it’s independence,” Lerner said.

Meanwhile, Cuomo denies reports that he’s seeking a speedy end to the commission he created, saying he does not see any quick resolution to a deal with the legislature on reform bills.