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GOP Chair Asks Ethics Board To Probe Actions Of Former Cuomo Aide

NY GOP Chair Ed Cox
Ed Cox

The head of New York state’s Republican Party has filed a formal complaint with the state’s public ethics commission, alleging that Gov. Andrew Cuomo and his top aide — Joe Percoco, now on trial for bribery — broke the state’s public officers’ law.

The letter, written by State GOP Chair Ed Cox, cites evidence presented in the federal corruption trial of Cuomo’s former top aide. It shows Percoco frequented his former state offices, adjacent to Cuomo’s offices, while Percoco was off the state payroll and managing Cuomo’s 2014 re-election campaign.

Using state resources for political campaigns is a violation of the public officers’ law.

The complaint also cites newspaper reports that matched Cuomo’s public schedules with Percoco’s during that time, and found that the two were frequently in the state-funded offices together.

The letter says testimony in the trial also alleges that Percoco conducted personal business in the state offices involving state agencies while he was off the public payroll and acting as campaign manager, which would be another violation of the public officers’ law.

Cox is also asking the Joint Commission on Public Ethics, or JCOPE, to investigate whether the governor and his top aide engaged in systematic conduct to defraud New York state government of services, which, if true, would be a felony violation.

The governor’s office had no comment.

A JCOPE spokesman, Walter McClure, said, "We cannot comment on something that is or could be an investigative matter."

Karen DeWitt is Capitol Bureau chief for New York State Public Radio, a network of public radio stations in New York state. She has covered state government and politics for the network since 1990.
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