Senate Ethics Chair exploring her oversight powers of the governor
February 26, 2021
In the wake of allegations of sexual misconduct against Gov. Andrew Cuomo, Senate Ethics Committee Chair Alessandra Biaggi is exploring what ability she has to investigate the state’s chief executive.
“It’s not clear that I have jurisdiction (over) the behavior of the governor … How my committee has been interpreted is mainly for the behavior of the members of the legislature,” the Westchester County Democrat told The Capitol Pressroom.
“However we are looking into that to see if that is just because of norms or if that is actually based on the public officers law, so that’s a TBD,” Biaggi said. “We will definitely continue to pursue that.”
The senator is clear in her belief that the Joint Commission on Public Ethics would not be the right government entity to pursue an investigation. “It certainly is not independent. Why? Because JCOPE is very closely tied to the governor,” she said, noting Cuomo’s ability to appoint the bulk of the members and tap key leaders.
In light of the report on nursing homes from state Attorney General Letitia James, Biaggi said she has confidence in her office to pursue an investigation that would be independent.
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