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Attorney general can conduct investigation into alleged criminal leak to Cuomo after JCOPE vote

Aug 27, 2021 2:02 pm

Chris Bragg reports in the Times Union that New York’s ethics oversight commission passed a motion for state Attorney General Letitia James to investigate whether confidential information was illegally leaked in 2019 to former Gov. Andrew Cuomo and start a criminal investigation into whether the state inspector general’s office covered up the incident. The actions from the Joint Commission on Public Ethics were needed for James to begin an investigation. James' office plans to review the referrals, but has not commented yet about starting an investigation. State Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie has said he received a berating call from Cuomo shortly after a JCOPE meeting on Jan. 29, 2019, with the now ex-governor complaining about how Heastie's appointed commissioners had voted in a confidential proceeding that day on whether to investigate former top Cuomo aide, Joseph Percoco. So, if Heastie is correct, someone leaked confidential voting information to Cuomo, and that would be a misdemeanor. But in October 2019 the inspector general's office said that it could not confirm the allegation of an illegal leak, in part because the allegations were based on hearsay. Read more about this story in the Times Union./p>