Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Peter Moschetti integrity airplanes and gubenatorial control of ethics

Peter was confirmed today as the Senate's pick on the Gaming Commission.

For once they got it right although I have to wonder who vetted Peter.

I've known Pete for a long time.

We were classmates at Albany Law.  Pete was a serious student, boring but serious.

Pete was one of my commissioners at the old Lobby Commission.  Pete was a serious commissioner and above reproach.  If you don't believe me you should read his dissent to the commissions amended opinion on David Paterson's use of a lobbyist's plane.  It's opinion 60 and I have reproduced Pete's dissent below:

Commissioner Peter J. Moschetti, Jr.

The Commission's recent action in amending Commission Advisory Opinion No. 60 which it had unanimously approved less than six months ago necessitates this dissent. The Commission's majority wholly fails to articulate a reason for its unprecedented action. Why would the Commission revisit this request for an opinion when the requesting party did not request a modification and factually, absolutely nothing has changed between the original opinion and the amended opinion. If one were to accept the proffered explanation that the Commission desires its opinions to be consistent with that of the New York State Ethics Commission, then we must be prepared to revisit all of the Commission's Advisory Opinions regarding gifts so as to complete the journey to consistency. Having done so, will this Commission now aggregate the value of all gifts given by a lobbyist during a calendar year so as to be consistent with the New York State Ethics Commission's view that a public official may not accept gifts exceeding the $75 threshold annually as opposed to this Commission's former opinion that each gift would be valued independently.
More upsetting is the fact that the Commission's amendment of its previous opinion has absolutely no effect on the conclusion that an illegal gift was made. In the matter before the Commission, the lobbyist provided chartered airfare and was reimbursed through the payment of the highest published Coach fare. New York State Ethics Commission Opinion 97-3, now adopted by this Commission, would require the reimbursement by the public official of First Class fare. The end result of this Commission's unprecedented action of amending its previous unanimously approved opinion?...nothing, the action in question is still an illegal gift, either under the Commission's original Advisory Opinion No. 60 or its more recently amended Commission Advisory Opinion No. 60.
When will we ever see an ethics commissioner so willing to call out his fellow commissioners for their own intellectual corruption?  Pete was replaced on the commission shortly after this dissent.  I guess the senate staffer who vetted Pete never read the dissent.
This is not a guy they can control!!!!!  How awesome is that?
By the way full disclosure Pete, myself and a couple of our classmates still have lunch every couple of months . . . he hasn't changed since the time he wrote that dissent.

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