Common Cause NY is deeply troubled by the failure to appoint an independent panel that will oversee the work of the Joint Commission on Public Ethics (JCOPE) and the Legislative Ethics Commission (LEC), as required by Section 21 of Part A of Chapter 399 of the laws of 2011.
No later than June 1, 2014, the governor and the legislative leaders shall jointly appoint a review commission to review and evaluate the activities and performance of the joint commission on public ethics and the legislative ethicscommission in implementing the provisions of this act. On or before March 1,2015, the review commission shall report to the governor and the legislature on itsreview and evaluation which report shall include any administrative andlegislative recommendations on strengthening the administration and enforcement of the ethics law in New York state. The review commission shall be comprisedof eight members and the governor and the legislative leaders shall jointly designate a chair from among the members.
A review commission is needed to evaluate JCOPE’s performance because the current watchdogs are political appointees who operate in secret.