Tuesday, October 21, 2014

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Cuomo Remains Silent in Wake of NY Times Report, Opponents on Offensive

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Another day and still no response from Governor Cuomo after the New York Times delivered a detailed account of how his administration allegedly interfered with the work of it anti-corruption commission. NY1's Zack Fink filed the following report.

The revelations in The New York Times about Governor Andrew Cuomo's interference in the work of the Moreland Commission continued to ripple throughout the political world.

The paper claims Cuomo's top aide, Larry Schwartz, actually ordered subpoenas to Cuomo allies to be withdrawn.

Cuomo ally Joanie Mahoney, who was a member of the anti-corruption Moreland Commission, defended its work.

"No one ever, in my presence, ever said we can or can't do anything," Mahoney said. "Whether there were problems, I would put them in the category mostly of personality problems. I think there were some people who had a difficult time getting along."

Governor Cuomo spent Thursday in Albany with no public schedule.

Not a single Democratic leader in the state legislature would publicly comment on the story or what it means for Cuomo and the Democratic party.

Cuomo's critics were eager to keep the story alive, however.

Republican gubernatorial candidate Rob Astorino is calling Cuomo's actions "one of the greatest breaches of the public trust in New York History."

U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara is investigating Cuomo's abrupt shutdown of the Moreland Commission, and possible interference. He appeared on Charlie Rose Wednesday night.

"After nine months, which appeared to be a shorter period of time than was expected, we understood that the commission was being shut down. And our interest, above all other interests, is to ensure that the job is getting done," Bharara said.

The Times report offered new details on Regina Calcaterra, who served on the Commission. She was characterized as a something like a spy for the Cuomo administration, often reporting back when commissioners were planning on doing things the governor might not like.

Calcaterra is still on the state payroll, at a salary of a $175,000 per year.

"Four months after the commission shut down. No one should be on the state payroll still working for the commission. Why she is, is another question that needs to be asked and answered," said Dick Dadey of Citizens Union.

Rather than taking questions on the report, the Cuomo administration points to a 13-page response it wrote to the Times.

Officials also claim many of the facts in the story had already been reported by other outlets, making it old news.

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