Woeful Lower Court Ruling on Ethics Commission is Factually Wrong


Judge Flat Out Misstates Law – Law Deans Do Not “Appoint” Commissioners

Reinvent Albany finds today’s lower court ruling declaring the state ethics commission unconstitutional absurd and blatantly flawed. The lower court judge blatantly misstates the law creating the Commission on Ethics and Lobbying in Government (COELIG). The judge repeatedly asserts that the Independent Review Committee of law school deans “appoints” members of the commission. This is simply wrong. The law school deans approve or deny nominees to the ethics commission proposed by the Legislature, Governor, Attorney General, and Comptroller — who are the appointing authorities. The law school deans have no role in determining which appointees are sent to them for review. 

This shoddy decision should be immediately overturned on appeal before it paralyzes the important work of the state ethics commission overseeing lobbying activity, guarding against conflicts of interest, and ensuring the ethical behavior of public officials.