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NYS Ethics Commission Pursues Complaint against Libous

Sen. Tom Libous reading to children.

On the heels of former New York State Senate leader Pedro Espada’s conviction, the state’s ethics commission is pursuing a complaint against one of Albany’s most prominent lawmakers.  WAMC's Tristan O'Neill reports...  

The Albany-Times Union reports (http://www.timesunion.com/local/article/Libous-the-target-of-ethics-inquiry-3558178.php)that the recently-created Joint Commission on Public Ethics has sent a letter to Deputy Senate Majority Leader Thomas Libous.   

The paper reports that the letter may be precedent-setting, in that it could result in the first investigation of a sitting legislator concerning activities that may or may not have happened before the creation of the state’s ethics commission. 

Sources cited by the Times Union say the letter is in response to a complaint filed by Binghamton Mayor Matt Ryan.  Ryan asked the commission to look into statements made by former Attorney Anthony Mangone while on trial in Westchester County. 

Mangone said Libous asked him to give his son Mathew a position in Mangone’s law firm six years ago.  According to Mangone, Libous said that a senator would help the law firm get some business in return.  Mangone said his firm did receive $50,000 from a business called Hiffa – Mathew Libous was in charge of the Hiffa account.     

Thomas Libous would not confirm receiving the letter, but he did say he’d fully cooperate with any review. 

Some lawmakers say the commission lacks jurisdiction on matters that happened before it was created, while others say the ethics law wasn’t protect lawmakers from past misdeeds.

Tristan O'Neill, WAMC News.