Yes, it’s still going on. Yes, it’s taxpayers’ money.
From the Associated Press story:
NEW YORK â€” Gov. Eliot Spitzer is on his way out of office, but his lawyers are still arguing that a hostile Senate committee is trying to subpoena confidential executive branch documents to “harass and embarrass” his office.
The three subpoenas issued by the Republican-led committee are part of a “political operation” that had nothing to do with its duties and should be tossed out, attorney Dietrich Snell told a state Supreme Court judge on Thursday.
David Lewis, lawyer for the Senate Investigations Committee, countered that the subpoenas are in the public interest as the committee probes a scheme by Spitzer aides to embarrass his chief rival, Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno.
“We’re not out on a frolic for the purpose of humiliating the governor,” Lewis told Justice Richard Braun. “This hasnâ€™t come up because we decided to get the governor and the executive chamber. It came up because of their actions.”
The committee investigation is one of several involving Spitzer aides who used state police to compile records on Brunoâ€™s use of state aircraft and state police drivers on trips that mixed meetings with lobbyists and Republican fundraisers.
The data on Bruno was made public after a newspaper requested it under the stateâ€™s Freedom of Information Law. The release of the data was seen as an attempt to smear and embarrass Bruno.