So Far, No Agency Investigating Alleged JCOPE Leak

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Neither the Albany County District Attorney’s Office nor the Senate Investigations Committee is immediately planning to investigate an alleged leak of an ethics investigation about Sen. Thomas Libous, R-Binghamton.

Heather Orth, a spokeswoman for Albany County District Attorney David Soares, said in an email today that, “We have not received any requests to investigate JCOPE.”

Senate Investigations Committee chairman Carl Marcellino, R-Nassau County, told Gannett’s Albany Bureau that, “At this point in time, we have no plans” to investigate it.

The state Inspector’s General Office, which state law says would investigate any “any breaches of confidentiality” by JCOPE, has not returned calls seeking comment.

Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos, R-Nassau County, told reporters last week that he was considering whether to investigate how the Albany Times-Union was made aware that Libous received a letter about a potential investigation into a complaint that Libous broke ethics laws by using his power to get his son a job at a Westchester County law firm.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo this morning didn’t say whether an investigation into the alleged leak should take place, saying it’s unclear whether the laws creating JCOPE were violated. But he said the laws may need to be updated before the legislative session ends in June.

“You need to balance the ability to investigate without harming innocent people. You need to have a real investigatory agency without having a political tool and a political ploy,” Cuomo said today at the “Capitol Pressroom.”

“Whether through JCOPE or through legislation, we’ll fine tune it this year. And my guess is, this will be continually fine tuned as we go along.”

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