The Moreland Commission has vowed that it’s independent from Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the executive branch. But that doesn’t mean it doesn’t report weekly to the governor.
A spokeswoman for the Moreland Commission said today that the commission’s charge by state statute includes reporting back to Cuomo and the Attorney General’s Office. Cuomo and Attorney General Eric Schneiderman this summer created the commission to investigate corruption in state government.
“The Moreland Commission, by original design, reports on a weekly basis to the governor, who empaneled it, and the attorney general, who deputized its members,” said spokeswoman Michelle Duffy.
“It is staffed by employees of the attorney general and executive branch and is led by the three co-chairs who represent the directives of the commission. The co-chairs get input from the governor’s office, attorney general’s office, and outside experts, but it is their judgment and discretion that governs the commission and determines its action,” Duffy continued.
“The commission, large and diverse, is dealing with complex subjects and has robust debates, as it should, but acts as a whole and reaches full unanimity in all strategic decisions.”
The commission has faced criticism that it is not independent from Cuomo’s power, but the members of the panel have said that the final decisions on what to investigate rests with them.
The Daily News reported that Cuomo is being heavy handed with the commission and has coaxed it to not go after the state Democratic Committee.
That drew a rebuke from Common Cause today, which said in a letter that it’s “disheartening and a matter of great concern to us to read reports that the commission has been discouraged by the governor for issuing all the subpoenas which it believes are necessary to properly fulfill its multi-part mandate, allegedly because those subpoenas are addressed to the Democratic Party and to some of the governor’s large campaign contributors,” the letter reads.
Here’s the letter: