Is NY ethics commission leaking?
May 15th, 2012
State Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos is questioning whether information about an ethics investigation into a top member of his party was leaked illegally.
The†Albany Times Union reported earlier today that the Joint Commission on Public Ethics is investigating accusations against Tom Libous,†the second-highest ranking member of the state Senate.
Skelos, a Republican, said the information was not supposed to be public. “Whoever from JCOPE is leaking this is committing a crime. They’re committing a crime,” he†said. He said that any allegations against Libous were “garbage.”
JCOPE’s predecessor, the Commission on Public Ethics, was wracked with internal leaks — especially during the Troopergate investigation. JCOPE was designed to address the failings of the CPI and faced controversy regarding the impartiality of a number of appointees.
“Obviously, there is a letter that goes out that is required by law. Look who sent the initial letter, the mayor of Binghamton, D, Democrat, who was looking to run against Tom Libous. If this is a political stunt, that’s all it is,” Skelos said.
Calls to JCOPE requesting information about the process of notifying parties of an investigation have not yet been returned.
Technically, the public is not supposed to know whether JCOPE has decided to follow up on a complaint until the ethics commission makes its findings public.
According to the Times Union, the investigation into Libous is based on a complaint by Binghamton Mayor Matt Ryan, a Democrat. Ryan asked JCOPE to look into statements made by Attorney Anthony Magone that Libous offered to help Mangone’s business in exchange for giving his son a job, the newspaper reported. Mangone made the statements during a federal trial. Libous’ son was hired by the firm. Ryan made his accusation and formal complaint public by sending off the complaint in front of reporters.By David King on May 15, 2012, 5:13 pm
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