A former member of Governor Cuomo’s anti-corruption panel claims that there are anywhere between 10 and 12 potentially criminal cases against lawmakers in New York which require further investigation. Makau Mutua didn’t offer any details on the cases, but did say they are “the kind of things for which folks have been indicted or convicted before.”
Via the Daily News:
Panel member Makau Mutua said before Cuomo pulled the plug, the Moreland commission found potential criminality on the part of 10 to 12 lawmakers.
“There’s more than a few cases that required further scrutiny,” said Mutua, the law school dean at SUNY Buffalo.
He didn’t offer specifics, but said “they’re the kind of things for which folks have been indicted or convicted before.” He cited “ethical lapses” involving the outside income of lawmakers and the possible misuse of campaign money.
The Wall Street Journal first reported Mutua’s comments.
It remains to be seen whether there could also be a criminal case made against Governor Cuomo for tampering with the panel’s work, something US Attorney Preet Bharara has yet to rule out.
Cuomo’s continued defense for tampering with the Moreland Commission’s ability to investigate criminal cases is that it was his commission, and he can do what he wants.
But members of the Moreland Commission were deputized by Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, meaning they had authority as a criminal investigative body.
Three co-chairs on the Moreland Commission released a statement last year insisting they had “full legal authority” to investigate corruption based on the powers granted by Schneiderman.
As a body with full legal authority, it would indeed be a criminal act for Governor Cuomo to try to sway that legal body, whether he created it or not.
Bharara intends to keep up the work of the Moreland Commission, rooting out public corruption in New York.