Cuomo signs bill that creates commission to investigate DA misconduct
Aug 21, 2018 7:00 am
Brendan J. Lyons is reporting for the Times Union Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo April 20, signed a bill to create a statewide commission to investigate allegations of misconduct by district attorneys and their assistant prosecutors. The governor signed the measure, creating the State Commission on Prosecutorial Conduct, despite a recent analysis by the state attorney general's office that found the legislation was poorly crafted and would likely not withstand a court challenge because of "several constitutional defects." Cuomo's office acknowledged the bill's flaws, but said the issues would be handled by amending the legislation when the state Senate and Assembly return to the capital for the next legislative session. The state district attorneys' association has promised to fight the new law in the courts. The association noted there is already a system to review misconduct by attorneys, including prosecutors, and the governor has the authority to remove a district attorney for cause. Albany County District Attorney David Soares, president of the District Attorneys Association of New York said it was puzzling that lawmakers would approve a bill with numerous constitutional flaws and that "violates the separation of powers." "It is outrageous that the governor would sign such a bill," Soares said. The state Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers supported the bill, citing what the group said is a "lack of public accountability" by prosecutors who violate ethics rules and criminal procedure laws. Read the full story in the Times Union.