U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said only the public can get frustrated enough to push for reforms in Albany.
Speaking yesterday on NY1, Bharara stayed clear of any talk about his ongoing investigation into the Cuomo administration’s disbandment of the Moreland Commission and his probes into lawmakers’ campaign spending.
But he did offer a rebuke of the culture in Albany and questioned when the public will demand change. He’s said in recent months that his office would investigate corruption in Albany because “we are the people who do our jobs.”
“The public should be frustrated that it keeps sending to Albany, and to other elected places, people who disproportionately are breaking the law and are violating their oath to uphold the public trust,” Bharara said in the interview with Errol Louis.
“And only when the public gets frustrated enough – because this is not a problem that prosecutors can alone solve, and I’ve been saying that for a long time – and only when the public gets frustrated enough, I think, will you get some kind of reform in Albany and in other places where reform is needed,” he continued.
Louis asked if using wiretaps in public-corruption cases is common — as Bharara did with former Assemblyman Nelson Castro, who was wiretapped for four years.
“I think it’s a powerful tool. It’s not the only tool,” Bharara said.
Bharara urged to let his office complete its Moreland investigation without interference. In April, he questioned Cuomo’s decision to end the panel’s work.
“I did not put together the Moreland Commission,” Bharara said on NY1. “I stand by the statement that I made, but a lot of people have been saying a lot of things, and I think what’s important now is for the investigators and prosecutors in my office and others who are working on this to just do their work.”
Bharara said he doesn’t have eyes on a political run: “No,” he said, when asked.