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NY Ethics Panel Votes To Ask AG To Probe Alleged Leak Involving Cuomo

File photo: New York Governor Andrew Cuomo
Pat Bradley
/
WAMC
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo

There’s more trouble for former New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, who resigned on Monday amid several scandals, including a report by Attorney General Tish James that he sexually harassed 11 women. The state’s ethics commission on Thursday voted to ask AG James to probe an alleged illegal leak by the commission to Cuomo.

The discussions during the Joint Commission on Public Ethics’, or JCOPE, executive sessions are supposed to be confidential, but two commissioners say former Governor Cuomo somehow found out that the panel, where he held the majority of appointees, wanted to open a corruption investigation into Cuomo’s former aide, Joe Percoco. Percoco is now in federal prison after being convicted of running a bribery and kickback scheme.

The motion to involve the AG was brought by Gary Lavine, appointed by the Republican Senate Minority Leader.

“The motion to refer the breach in confidentiality that occurred and I believe additional misconduct occurred in the cover-up of it, to the attorney general for the attorney general’s investigation,” said Lavine.

A former commissioner appointed by Speaker Carl Heastie, Julie Garcia, has said that she was told by an Assembly lawyer that Cuomo called the Speaker to complain about her private vote.

Another JCOPE commissioner appointed by Heastie, James Yates, says he was a witness to the leak, and has texts, emails and other documentation to back up his claim.

The state’s inspector general, also appointed by Cuomo, at the time investigated the matter, but did not interview the former governor or the Assembly Speaker. But the IG’s report concluded that the leak accusation could not be substantiated.