Sunday, February 27, 2011


In the middle of an attempt to get “ethics reform” (can someone please define that for me because as far as I am concerned getting rid of the public integrity commission or at a minimum its top staff is ethics reform) the New York Times writes an editorial that puts them in the same boat as the goo goos. Well meaning, working hard but in the end missing the point.

After following up Times Union reporter Jim Odato’s work on Jeff Sachs the Times has uncovered specific acts that if true raise very troubling issues for Mr. Sachs and numerous members of the Cuomo administration. And depending how the Governor handles the scandal perhaps the Governor himself (does anyone remember “troopergate”). And that brings us right back to the failure of the public integrity commission to be an honest cop on the beat. I don’t know if the allegations in the newspapers are true or accurate. Nor do I know if Mr. Sach’s statements explaining his actions are true or accurate. We don’t know what the administration’s staffers are going to say about their involvement and if it will be true or accurate.

Here’s what we do know. Barry Ginsberg the public integrity executive director (yes the same one the inspector general said helped impede the investigation into disgraced former executive director Herb Teitelbaum role in troopergate) will be the one to answer those questions and he knew three weeks ago about Mr. Sach’s activity. What has he done with that information? Who has he spoken with?

Has he already spoken with the targets of any investigation he might undertake?
Has he taken direction from folks outside the commission?
Has he briefed his commissioners on the issues to give them an opportunity to provide him direction?
Or is he paralyzed and afraid to take any action until he knows what effect it will have on his future tenure.
Or maybe he will take a page out of his Yankee ticket playbook and wait for the legislature to pass an ethics bill, if it affects him he could always ramp up the investigation take testimony from the governor and his staff and see if that ace up his sleeve will get him another veto.

Unfortunately the questions above would never need to be asked if we had faith in Barry or the commission to do the right thing and perform a professional unbiased investigation without outside influence and keep the public and media apprised of what they discover. But as troopergate has shown us that is too much to ask from the cockroaches at the commission. I wonder which commission staffer will be sacrificed this time? (Does anyone remember the commission lawyer that testified to the IG about “troopergate”?)

So with Barry holding the key to the answers as to what really is going on with Jeff Sach’s and his connections what does the New York Times editorial say is the answer? Here it is:

“Governor Cuomo has a larger obligation. As he pushes for ethics reform, he should call for a tougher lobbying law — one without loopholes.”
Here we go again we need ethics reform that gets us honest cops in the form of an integrity agency we can trust and the editorial board wants to change the law to one without loopholes.
Let me say it loud and clear
And until people realize that we will continue to have ethical scandals because one person’s self dealing is another person’s trusted friend.

No comments:

Post a Comment