Albany Corruption

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Almost two years ago, Democratic state Sen. Daniel Squadron from New York City resigned -- suddenly, after nine years in office. He said then that state governments were “petri dishes of corruption,” and announced a new effort that would focus on state laws and state elections. A year and a half later, his group, Future Now, has spent about $5 million on elections in Maine and New Hampshire.


A bill which has passed the state Senate looks to provide oversight of state contracts awarded to development companies. The legislation would allow the state comptroller's office to review each contract. The measure, however, is being blocked in an Assembly committee, and, as Jim Heaney of Investigative Post points out, the bill is unlikley to have the support of Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

Zephyr Teachout, one of four candidates running in the Democratic primary for State Attorney General, says battling corruption in state government would be a top priority, if she’s elected. In the past few months, several former associates of Governor Cuomo have been convicted of bribery and bid rigging, and both former legislative leaders were found guilty on corruption charges.   WBFO Albany Correspondent Karen DeWitt talked to Teachout, about her proposals.


WBFO file photo

The second set of corruption convictions of former associates of Gov. Andrew Cuomo has renewed calls to reform the governor’s multibillion-dollar economic development program that was at the heart of the bribery and bid-rigging cases. But Cuomo said the problem is already fixed.


Kathy Willens / AP

The jury is deadlocked in the federal corruption trial of Joe Percoco, a former top aide to Gov. Andrew Cuomo. The judge in the case is telling jurors they have to keep deliberating.

Preet Bharara's twitter account

Now that Preet Bharara is no longer the U.S. Attorney for the southern district of New York, some in Albany wonder who will now be investigating potential corruption?


File Photo

Reform advocates are taking exception to remarks made by Governor Cuomo, who said there already is enough oversight of potentially corrupt activities in Albany.


Every day for the past two weeks, news reports have focused on a federal probe of Governor Cuomo’s Administration. Despite that, Cuomo and legislative leaders say they are trying to achieve some agenda items in the closing weeks of the legislative session.


Convictions prompt calls for change in Albany

Dec 14, 2015
thirteen.org

Following the recent convictions of two former legislative leaders, New York Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos and former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, Senator Timothy Kennedy says more needs to be done to protect taxpayers. Meanwhile, the head of a government watchdog group suggests the time has come to curb potential conflicts-of-interest by making state legislators full-time employees.


Photo from Karen Dewitt

The last time the state held a constitutional convention, Bobby Kennedy was senator. That was in 1967. 


New York State

State Assemblyman Sean Ryan said he he's not surprised Sheldon Silver has been found guilty of using the power of his office to earn nearly $5 million illegally. Ryan, an attorney, told WBFO he read the criminal complaint lodged against the former Assembly speaker before the trial began.

The New York State legislature is seemingly back to business as usual. But  there has been little public discussion about a corruption crisis that has led to the two most powerful men in the legislature both on trial in federal court this month.


The final stretch of the legislative session began as more accusations arose about potential wrongdoing by top legislative leaders.

photo courtesy NY.gov

The New York State Legislature returns for the second half of the legislative session, once again under a cloud of corruption, and with numerous unsettled issues.

Two sexual harassment victims of former Assemblyman Vito Lopez have settled their case and will receive  $580,000 in restitution. It was one of two lingering corruption cases which came to resolution in Albany Thursday.