Gov. Andrew Cuomo said his commission to root out corruption in state government is within its bounds to seek more details about lawmakers’ outside business interests.
The Legislature on Friday rebuked the Moreland Commission’s request that lawmakers hand over details about their private business clients. The lawmakers’ attorneys said the state is overstepping its bounds and the separation of powers between the legislative and executive branches.
Cuomo, who appointed the panel this summer, disagreed.
“This effort is all about restoring the trust, and restoring people’s faith in government and I think the more information, the better – especially when there are real questions that people have been asking,” Cuomo told reporters today at a news conference on texting while driving.
Cuomo, the state’s former attorney general, said the Moreland Commission legally has the power to see more details about lawmakers’ outside income. They revealed their ranges of their outside income in July as part of new ethics laws, but the commission wants more information.
“When they say they have other avenues, it means they have other avenues that they are going to pursue,” Cuomo said of the commission, addding, “I think legally their power will be upheld, yes.”
The fight sets up a battle among Cuomo, lawmakers and the Moreland Commission heading into the new legislative session, which starts in early January.