Niagara Gazette

July 8, 2013

State corruption panel has more teeth, will it bite?

Staff Reports
Associated Press

ALBANY — The new corruption commission chasing misconduct in Albany has more teeth than its predecessor two decades ago, but skeptics say the test is whether it recycles rhetoric against persistent Albany corruption or actually bites anyone.

The 25-member commission appointed last week by Gov. Andrew Cuomo has 10 county district attorneys. Unlike a previous Moreland Commission, this panel will be deputized as deputy assistant attorneys general with clear authority to investigate state legislators. Attorney General Eric Schneiderman (SHNEYE'-dur-muhn) made nine appointments to the commission.

Top staff members come from Cuomo's and Schneiderman's staffs, with a longtime federal prosecutor as chief investigator.

Like the 1987-89 Moreland Commission, the group is charged with uncovering misdeeds and conflicts and recommending laws.

Critics say local prosecutors and a state ethics panel already have authority.