Wednesday, September 5, 2012


So the mighty JJOKE met to . . . well we don’t know why they met do we?


But an educated guess was that they met in response to the governor’s musing that an investigation of the Lopez gropergate scandal and related issues would be appropriate.


So after a 2 hour private meeting they . . . well we don’t know what they did do we?


But an educated guess was that they couldn’t agree on what to do.


You have to understand that there are three issues that are coming together to provide a perfect storm of ethics paralysis.


Issue 1 - JJOKE’s jurisdiction over sexual harassment or sexual abuse in the legislature or anywhere else is at best questionable.  Sure you can allege as the goo goo’s did that sexual harassment violates section 74 (h) the infamous catchall that says don’t engage in acts that violate your public trust BUT there is no punishment for a violation of that section and there is no history of NY’s ethics agencies investigating sexual harassment claims using this jurisdiction.  As a result you provide those members of the commission who do not want to get involved with several legitimate arguments to make in that secret meeting for why they are voting against authorizing an investigation by JJOKE . . . but of course the public doesn’t get to hear those arguments.


Issue 2 – JJOKE’s competency to handle a sexual harassment or sexual abuse investigation is at best questionable.  They simply do not have the personnel trained or experienced to handle these types of investigations and there is a very good reason why that is so.  JJOKE doesn’t do and isn’t supposed to do sexual harassment or sexual abuse cases (see issue 1).  In addition I’ve come to the conclusion that Biben et al don’t have the chops to persuade, all they can do is chant the company line and execute someone else’s strategy and directions.  As a result you provide those members of the commission, who do not want to get involved, an easy debate in that secret meeting for why they are voting against authorizing an investigation by JJOKE and Biben et al are not able to persuade thru logic a different outcome . . . but of course the public doesn’t get to see that debate.


Issue 3 – JJOKE’s secrecy results in an unfulfilling climax to a media cluster f*ck.  JJOKE had the perfect opportunity to capture the news cycle.  Everyone was there with cameras and microphones and notebooks at the ready and . . . nothing.  Had anyone at JJOKE really wanted to make ethics sing and dance all they needed to do yesterday in the public portion of the meeting was make a motion to do this whole Kabuki dance in public, get a second for the motion and we would have been off to the races.  Even a public vote for secrecy would have advanced the ethics debate and had the motion carried the Albany media would have had enough to write about over the next several weeks to make troopergate pale in comparison.  Just watching JJOKE handle issues 1 and 2 in public would have been must see ethics and it would have prevented all those reporters from calling me to see what I had heard because they had nothing else to do.  But noooooo once again JJOKE missed the mark and we are all left wanting something more.


When it comes to JJOKE wanting something more is the rule not the exception.


I’ve said it a thousand times it’s the people . . stupid.

And since the Times Union was kind enough to link to the blog I've reproduced the most recent story below since it is directly related to JJOKE

Accusations fly in latest JCOPE leak to the New York Post

Subpoenas should soon be flying in the probe of who leaked the fact that JCOPE voted to investigate Vito Lopez to the Post.

Someone associated closely with the State Joint Commission on Public Ethics leaked information on the fact that they had voted to open a formal investigation into alleged sexual harassment by the Brooklyn assemblyman — a step needed for the Post to report that the panel planned to send out subpoenas, The Apocalypse has learned.

Investigations are considered confidential and JCOPE isn’t even permitted to confirm publicly that a probe is under way the Post reported as part of its story based on the very same leaked information it reported as confidential.

The JCOPE leak of confidential information — which required someone with actual knowledge of the secret vote to provide it to a party outside the commission — occurred immediately after a special video conference of the commission, according to a source.

One JCOPE commissioner when informed of the leaking of confidential information stated that it was “disgusting”.

Other commissioners wondered if it would trigger a criminal probe by Albany County District Attorney David Soares.

This is not the first time that the New York Post has been the recipient of a leak from JCOPE regarding its investigations. As a result the New York Post is seen by many in Albany as receiving a head start in what has become known in media circles as “the race to the bottom” of Albany ethics scandals.

Many Albany insiders are questioning if certain JCOPE staffers and/or commissioners have themselves violated the Public Officers Law by leaking confidential information.

The good government groups who seemed to respond quickly to the Lopez scandal by filing a complaint with JCOPE have remained conspicuously silent regarding JCOPE’s own scandalous actions.

And that ladies and gentleman is how you play the media scandal game NY Post style.

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