jcope

Published reports in the New York Post and New York Daily News say U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara has subpoenaed records from a state ethics panel created by Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the state legislature.

The state ethics board held its final meeting of the year, and announced no major decisions or initiatives. Critics say that’s normal for the controversial Joint Commission on Public Ethics (JCOPE), and they say that’s part of the problem.

A political controversy involving the issue of abortion has erupted this summer at the state’s ethics commission. It stems from whether some not for profit groups should be granted exemptions from publicly disclosing their donors. The Joint Commission on Public Ethics, known as JCOPE, is charged with increasing financial transparency when it comes to politicians and the groups who lobby them.

The Joint Commission on Public Ethics, or JCOPE, met Tuesday and spent most of its time in a private session, as Patrick Bulgaro, a key appointee of Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, resigned from the board.

Silver was the subject of a recent ethics commission probe, which examined his role in the sexual harassment charges against former Assemblyman Vito Lopez. The report found Silver was not guilty of any wrongdoing, but did criticize his role in a secret $100,000 settlement to two of Lopez’s alleged victims.

A government reform group is calling for a state ethics panel report to be made public, one day after the panel investigating charges against Assemblyman Vito Lopez (D-Brooklyn) sent a report to the legislative ethics committee.

New York state’s ethics board is coming under criticism as it launches an investigation that is believed to focus on a sexual harassment scandal in the Assembly. The secrecy rules imposed in the laws governing the commission are causing some unanticipated problems. 

A unanimous state ethics board appears to launch a full investigation into the Assembly’s sexual harassment scandal.  The vote followed an acrimonious meeting, where commissioners appointed by the Assemblys peaker demanded a public discussion of the deliberations, and called the governor’s threats to open his own investigation “coercive.”  

The state ethics board held a closed door meeting Tuesday. The Joint Commission on Public Ethics, or JCOPE, is believed to be discussing whether to investigate Brooklyn Assemblyman Vito Lopez, and possibly the Assembly Speaker, over a sexual harassment scandal.

The state’s ethics board has called a special meeting immediately after Labor Day. The news comes after Governor Andrew Cuomo and others have called for an investigation of a sexual harassment scandal in the State Assembly.

A rare apology from one of New York’s most powerful Democratic leaders regarding a payout to alleged victims of sexual harassment is raising even more questions at the state Capitol. Meanwhile, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver says he welcomes an impending ethics probe.  

Governor Andrew Cuomo continues to defend a decision by a state ethics board to keep secret the names of donors to a lobbying group that is a key ally of the governor. 

A New York state ethics board has ruled that lobby groups, including one closely allied with Governor Andrew Cuomo, will not have to retroactively disclose their donors. The proposed new regulations will require that in the future, contributions of over $5000 for the Committee to Save New York and other groups will have to be made public.
 

A hearing by New York Senate Democrats explored the influence of the controversial lobby group known as ALEC in New York State. Those who testified say more light needs to shine on the secretive group and even urged the state ethics commission to start an investigation.

Karen DeWitt/WRVO

A lobbying group closely associated with Governor Andrew Cuomo was the elephant in the room during a hearing by the state ethics commission on new rules for donor disclosure.

A lobbying group closely allied with the policies of Governor Andrew Cuomo has been in the news a lot in the past couple of days, in articles raising questions about  multi-million dollar donations to the group known as the Committee to Save New York,  and policies later advocated by the governor.

Governor Cuomo and legislative leaders announced their appointments to the new Joint Commission on Public Ethics, or JCOPE early last week. It was the last possible day before the commission was, under law, required to begin its work.

The first meeting was held late Thursday. It was a private teleconference, and no public notice was given.  The Associated Press first reported the existence of the meeting.

Governor Cuomo named Janet DiFiore, the District Attorney of Westchester County, to chair the commission. He also appointed Seymour Knox the IV, who is VP of Corporate Relations for the Buffalo Sabres, as well as the chair of a private equity firm, and Mitra Hormozi, who worked for Cuomo when he was Attorney General.   

Senate Leader Dean Skelos picks include former Western New York State Senator Mary Lou Rath. Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver chose former state budget director Patrick Bulgaro.