Commission must return
New York state adopted the Moreland Act in 1907 to permit the governor “to examine and investigate the management and affairs of any department, board, bureau or commission of the state.”
The soon-to-be-gone Gov. Andrew Cuomo invoked the Moreland Act in 2013 to “probe systemic corruption and the appearance of such corruption in state government, political campaigns and elections.”
Through the then Attorney General, Eric Schneiderman, who himself had to resign in 2018, for physically abusing women, a number of experienced prosecutors were appointed to carry out Cuomo’s seemingly holy intention.
Nearly unfortunately for the Governor, his Moreland Commission took its job too seriously.
The Governor could not control the prosecutors who started to look closely at his political activities and contributors. The governor unceremoniously shut down the Commission when he felt way too uncomfortable with its activities.
Danya Perry, a one-time Federal Prosecutor, who was appointed to the Commission, recently told the New Yorker that everything we saw from Cuomo as he struck out at the 11 women he harassed or abused – his obstruction, lying, bullying, threatening – he employed against his own Commission.
Perry said, “He did not want an investigation into his own dark-money contributions. … (n)o one benefitted from that more than he did. We weren’t allowed to look at that.”
With Cuomo gone in a few days, Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul will have the opportunity to create her own Moreland Commission as Gov. Hochul.
Gov. Hochul should recreate the commission and allow it to go wherever it needs to go – including looking at what our soon-to-be-gone Gov. Cuomo didn’t want the Commission to see.