Maybe consider this a follow-up to kos's April 24 diary, Cuomo defends stymying corruption commission: 'Because I could', which he concluded:
Seriously, admitting that it was kabuki from day one? Admitting that every promising corruption lead followed by the commission was squashed by him because it was controlled by him?Today, based on three unnamed sources, the New York Times reports U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara's office has subpoenaed the records of Gov. Andrew Cuomo's Commission to Investigate Public Corruption. It was opened in July and disbanded March 29, when he made a deal with the legislature to write stronger ethics laws.
The Moreland Commission scandal has already killed Cuomo's national ambitions. This response is just icing on the cake.
Bharara publicly criticized him at that time and seized the panel's files. The writers characterize the subpoena and unspecified details as the "strongest suggestion to date that the criminal investigation may be examining allegations of interference with the commission."
The subpoena seeks documents pertaining to the formation of the panel, known as a Moreland Commission, based on the 1907 Moreland Act, which
... allows the governor, in person or through one or more persons appointed by the Governor, to examine management and affairs of any department, board, bureau or commission in the state. Investigators could interview witnesses, administer oaths, hold hearings, and seize any material deemed relevant to the investigator's case. The investigators then had to use that intelligence to recommend legislative actions.Prosecutors are looking at the distribution to other prosecutors of cases that had been under investigation by the Corruption Commission -- and carefully at Gov. Cuomo.
Federal prosecutors also appear to be examining any actions that may have interfered with the panel’s operation. Prosecutors have asked the panel’s investigators and staff members about allegations of interference by Cuomo administration officials, including the governor’s top aides and his senior appointees to the panel, the people said.Is this related in any way to Bridgegate?
Much of the questioning, several of the people said, has focused on the conduct of the commission’s executive director, Regina Calcaterra, who, they said, had repeatedly sought to prevent commission subpoenas that might reflect poorly on the governor from being issued and tried to divert investigators from focusing on his allies.
When federal prosecutors took possession of the commission’s documents and computers, they also collected the BlackBerry smartphones the commission had provided to its staff, the people said. In the commission’s early days, senior members of its staff were told to communicate with Mr. Cuomo’s aides only via BlackBerry PIN messages, not recorded on government servers.
Better Democrats, please?