Associated Press

Some members of the state’s ethics commission pressed Tuesday for a subpoena to look into a controversy over Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s hiring of former aide Larry Schwartz as a “volunteer” COVID-19 vaccine czar for the state.

But Cuomo’s appointees to the Joint Commission on Public Ethics, known as JCOPE, voted the proposal down.

Advocates for stronger public ethics laws in New York state government called on Democrats Wednesday to hold hearings on how those rules could be improved, and whether the current agency that investigates claims of misconduct should be replaced.


State lawmakers in New York could take the first step this year toward scrapping the state’s current ethics agencies and replacing them with a new, more powerful panel less likely to be influenced by elected officials.

New York State Joint Commission on Public Ethics

Gov. Andrew Cuomo may have violated state ethics laws, according to published reports, that he used his staff to help him write a book on how he managed the COVID-19 pandemic, and that he gave his family and politically connected associates priority access to coronavirus tests.

Hogan Willig Attorneys at Law / WBFO File Photo

The New York state ethics commission has settled with a former assemblymember and a former senate staffer in two cases involving sexual harassment.

New York State Joint Commission on Public Ethics

A national report finds that New York State’s ethics panel is among the worst in the nation. Reform groups say that’s not news to them, and have called for an overhaul of the commission.

WBFO file photo

A recent legislative hearing on sexual harassment in state government focused in part on the role of the state’s ethics commission in investigating charges of alleged abuse. And according to those who testified, the Joint Commission on Public Ethics, or JCOPE, was insensitive, secretive and not sufficiently independent from politics.

Eileen Buckley / WBFO News File Photo

A former Buffalo state lawmaker will pay a $10,000 fine for making unwanted sexual advances to a female staffer and offering her money or a job if she refused to cooperate with an investigation into the incident.

Democrats are poised to lead the state Senate starting next month, but they will still lack power on the state’s ethics panel. A law implemented several years ago will allow Republicans in the chamber to hold the majority of seats.


The Democratic frontrunner in the primary race for Attorney General, Tish James, says if she’s elected she’d be independent of her political ally, Governor Andrew Cuomo.

WBFO file photo

Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the anti-sexual harassment policies enacted in the state budget are among the strongest in the nation, but his political rivals say the governor has not done enough to respond to allegations of sexual harassment in his own administration.

File Photo / WBFO News

A report from the state ethics commission clears Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s former high-level economic development official Sam Hoyt of sexual harassment charges, but the report leaves many unanswered questions.

Karen DeWitt

Testimony at the trial of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s former top aide, Joe Percoco, has highlighted some practices inside the governor’s office that government reform groups say is at the very least questionable, and possibly even illegal.

File Photo / WBFO News

State Sen. Jeff Klein, a Bronx Democrat, spoke publicly for the first time since an investigation has begun into allegations that he sexually harassed a female staffer.

Some lobbyists, as well as government reform groups, say a new rule approved by the state’s ethics commission that would require them to report contact with the news media in some cases, violates First Amendment rights and would have chilling effect.

A new proposal by the state ethics commission that could restrict campaign donations is raising some questions.

WBFO file photo

The controversial state ethics commission is in the midst of a review by a panel appointed by Governor Cuomo and the legislature. Government reform groups say they’ve already been asked to give their opinions on how to fix some of the commission’s problems.

Karen Dewitt

A unanimous vote by the state ethics board appears to launch a full investigation into the Assembly’s sexual harassment scandal.  

In the second meeting in less than a week, the Joint Public Ethics Commission bent its own rules and announced that a vote had been taken to launch what it called a “substantial” investigation. 

The disclosure followed an hour long public debate, where commissioners of Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver complained that the commission’s secrecy and leaks to the media were impugning the integrity of the ethics panel.  

Subpoenas issued in Assembly scandal investigation

Sep 7, 2012

The state's top ethics panel is investigating the sexual harassment scandal that has engulfed Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver.

The Joint Commission on Public Ethics, or JCOPE, refused to comment, but the prominent attorney representing women who accepted settlements in the scandal says she has received subpoenas from the panel. 

Attorney Gloria Allred says she's cooperating with JCOPE as it investigates the sexual harassment allegations against Assemblyman Vito Lopez and why Speaker Silver authorized the payment of $103,000 in public money to settle the case.

WBFO News photo

The state’s ethics board held a closed door meeting Tuesday and is believed to be discussing whether to investigate Brooklyn Assemblyman Vito Lopez and possibly the Assembly Speaker, over a sexual harassment scandal.

WBFO News photo

The state’s ethics board has called a special meeting immediately after Labor Day.

The news comes after Governor Cuomo and others have called for an investigation of a sexual harassment scandal in the State Assembly.

The Joint Commission on Public Ethics, or JCOPE, has called a special meeting for Tuesday, September 4th.  

One day before the state ethics commission is to hold hearings on new rules for lobbying disclosures, there are more revelations about a multi million dollar advocacy group associated with Governor Andrew Cuomo. 

A lobbying group closely allied with the policies of Governor Andrew Cuomo has been in the news a lot in the past couple of days, in articles raising questions about  multi million dollar donations to the group known as the Committee to Save New York,  and policies later advocated by the governor.