Assemblyman Gianaris, Citzens Union, Common Cause/NY Contend Current State Law Allows Governor Paterson To Appoint Lt. Governor Shows How State Constitution and Public Officers Law Can Be Used to Break Albany Impasse

Assemblyman Gianaris, Citzens Union, Common Cause/NY Contend Current State Law Allows Governor Paterson To Appoint Lt. Governor Shows How State Constitution and Public Officers Law Can Be Used to Break Albany Impasse




New York State Assemblyman Michael Gianaris, Citizens Union Executive Director Dick Dadey, and Common Cause/NY Executive Director Susan Lerner today sent Governor David A. Paterson a letter outlining how under current law he can appoint a Lt. Governor and in doing so resolve the impasse that has paralyzed state government.

Though it has become accepted conventional wisdom that a vacancy in the office of Lt. Governor cannot be filled until the next statewide election, the letter posits that the plain language of the Constitution and the Public Officers Law gives the Governor the power to appoint a Lt. Governor who can serve until next year's elections.

The letter contends that Section 43 of the Public Officers Law applies in this situation and is not precluded by the Constitutional mandate that the Temporary President of the Senate shall perform the duties of the Lt. Governor during a vacancy. Public Officer Law Section 43 states " [i]f a vacancy shall occur, otherwise than by expiration of term, with no provision of law for filling the same, if the office be elective, the governor shall appoint a person to execute the duties thereof until the vacancy shall be filled by an election…"

Read the full release here...