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.
Later Monday, the first of a series of federal corruption trials begins for several former associates of Gov. Andrew Cuomo. The proceedings in the federal courthouse in lower Manhattan will focus on bribery and other charges against Cuomo’s former closest aide, Joseph Percoco.
Governor Cuomo says he’ll sign an executive order committing the state to meet the Paris accord standards, calling President Trump’s decision to withdraw from the agreement “reckless” and “irresponsible."
Governor Andrew Cuomo saved his ethics proposals for the last stop of his State of the State tour in Albany, where he released a 10-point plan to address rampant corruption that has reached his own administration.
The New York State legislature has been on a three week break. In their absences, federal investigations into aides close to Governor Andrew Cuomo and New York City Mayor Bill deBlasio have intensified, spurring even more calls for reform.
Governor Cuomo concedes that ethics reform is unlikely to be a part of the New York State budget, despite the conviction of the two legislative leaders on major corruption charges. Cuomo blames the legislature for lack of will to enact changes.
The Assembly and Senate have released budget positions that focus on taxes and spending policies, but very little on ethics reform, even though both former leaders of the legislature face prison sentences over corruption convictions.
Reform groups are giving Governor Cuomo an A for effort on his ethics proposals, but they say some of them need to go further, and Cuomo needs to follow through and actually get the plans enacted into law.
Questions continue about economic development practices by Governor Cuomo’s Administration, including the proposed sale of valuable piece of land from one state agency to another state entity for a dollar.
The new leader of the State Senate, John Flanagan, replaced Dean Skelos, who is facing corruption charges. On Day Two in office, Flanagan says he does not expect any major new reform legislation to happen before the end of the session.
Governor Cuomo is using money from his $35 million campaign war chest to pay for a criminal defense lawyer in a federal probe of his office. Critics say while it’s legal to do so, it’s not an appropriate use of campaign money.
Reform groups are focusing attention on Governor Cuomo’s anti corruption commission’s recommendations to beef up the anemic State Board of Elections but say they have not given up hope of public campaign financing for state wide races.