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JCOPE can't get ED to agree on letter to AG

Dec 28, 2021 2:09 pm

Brendan J. Lyons reports in the Times Union that last week 12 members of New York's ethics commission wanted to send a letter to the state attorney general's office pushing back on that office's assertion that the panel did not issue a valid order when it voted to have former Gov. Andrew Cuomo surrender the $5.1 million that he received for his COVID-19 memoir. But the executive director of the Joint Commission on Public Ethics, Sanford Berland, refused to sign on to the letter. The controversy comes as Gov. Kathy Hochul has publicly said that the ethics panel should be disbanded and replaced by an oversight board that is not handpicked by the lawmakers it's supposed to police. Meanwhile, Richard Azzopardi, a spokesperson for Cuomo, continues to claim there were no ethical errors concerning the book. "Staff who volunteered took time off, evidencing that they were volunteering and not on state time," he claims. Read more about this story in the Times Union.