Watchdog groups ask Governor Kathy Hochul and Attorney General Letitia James to announce their final nominations to New York’s Commission on Ethics and Lobbying in Government (the “Commission”). Four seats on the new ethics commission still remain unfilled.
The Commission is required to hold an annual public hearing by the end of the year, and a full slate of Commissioners should be there to show the commitment of statewide elected leaders to better ethics oversight and to the new ethics commission they appoint.
We urged the Commission in September to begin its work immediately due to JCOPE having disbanded in July, saying that New Yorkers are paying for an ethics commission, and they deserve one that is hard at work. The Commission has since held four public meetings without being fully appointed.
We also asked the Commission in September to reset expectations about state ethics oversight, and implement a series of recommendations to improve enforcement and transparency. A fully appointed Commission can best implement these recommendations.
The Independent Review Committee, composed of the State’s law school deans, have approved seven out of eleven Commissioners. Assembly Speaker Heastie’s nominee is pending before the deans, and the Senate Minority Leader’s nominee has challenged the deans’ rejection of his nomination. We ask Governor Hochul and Attorney General James to submit their nominees and help get this Commission up to full strength.
Ben Weinberg, Citizens Union, 347-291-4199
Evan Davis, Committee to Reform the State Constitution, 518-962-2856
Susan Lerner, Common Cause/NY, 212-691-6421
Laura Ladd Bierman, League of Women Voters of New York State, 518-727-0350
Elizabeth Kocienda, New York City Bar Association, 212-382-4788
Blair Horner, New York Public Interest Research Group, 518-436-0876 x257
Rachael Fauss, Reinvent Albany, 518-859-5307
Erica Vladimer, Sexual Harassment Working Group, 732-245-9517