Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos, R-Nassau County, had strong words for the new Joint Commission on Public Ethics, charging that the panel leaked sensitive information about a potential probe of his second in command, Sen. Thomas Libous.
Skelos defended Libous, saying “Tom is a great senator, a good person and I’m sure it’s all garbage. But anybody think about the confidential aspect of JCOPE, that they’re not supposed to make this information public, just a mere request for information?”
The statute that created the commission says that JCOPE must notify the target of a complaint in writing — which appears to the letter that Libous received, according to Skelos’ comments. Libous, the Binghamton Republican, wouldn’t comment about the contents of the letter.
Skelos ripped the allegations against Libous, calling them political and filed by the Democratic mayor of Binghamton, Matt Ryan, who contemplated a run against Libous.
“Certainly I didn’t leak it,” Skelos said. “Obviously, there is a letter that goes out that is required by law. Look who sent the initial letter: the mayor of Binghamton, D, Democrat, who was looking to run against Tom Libous. So if this is a political stunt, that’s all it is.”