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Ethics 12.8.2021

Calls for Malatras’ resignation grow

The good government advocacy group Common Cause/New York declared Malatras is "unfit" to continue as chancellor, and questioned his qualifications for the prestigious post, after spending just three years in higher education management positions. Susan Lerner, director of Common Cause, said Malatras "smeared the reputation of a former (state government) employee who had the courage to come forward after being sexually harassed." She said he also had a role in the undercount of COVID fatalities at nursing homes and assisting Cuomo with the latter's $5.1 million pandemic book.

Ethics 05.26.2021

Cuomo used Speaker Heastie in bid to silence critic as Post exposed COVID coverup

“There’s no excuse for the Speaker’s office colluding with the [governor’s office] to clean up its mess,” said Susan Lerner of the nonpartisan group Common Cause New York. “The Legislature is a co-equal branch of government, not a laundering service for the Governor.”

Ethics 04.15.2021

Cuomo, top aides worked on COVID book alongside publisher's reps at Executive Mansion

Susan Lerner, executive director of Common Cause/New York, said the fact that the work occurred on a weekend lent credence to the idea that the senior staff was working voluntarily. "This is obviously outside of the work week and that is what we would want to see, that this sort of assistance would take place outside of the work week," she said. "That certainly strengthens the argument that it is a voluntary activity."

Ethics 03.25.2021

Impeachment Inquiry Examining Allegations That Cuomo Gave His Family COVID Testing Preference

The reported conduct may be a violation of ethics rules set forth in the state’s public officers law which states public officials aren’t allowed to use “his or her official position to secure unwarranted privileges or exemptions for himself or herself or others.” Susan Lerner, the executive director of Common Cause New York, saw it as a clear breach of the law. “It’s unethical and yes, I think there needs to be a serious investigation,” she said. “Our law is very clear. You cannot use state resources for personal purposes.”

Ethics 05.17.2020

Cuomo Taps Private Advisers as Part of Coronavirus Response, Stirring Critics

That is especially significant at a time when the pandemic has disrupted the normal operations of the state legislature, said Common Cause Executive Director Susan Lerner, a good-government advocate. “What we’re seeing is extraordinary consolidation of power by the governor and acquiescence by the legislature that undercuts our entire system of checks and balances,” Ms. Lerner said in an interview. “Without the normal appointment process, there’s no way to have any oversight or accountability.”

Some lawmakers hope to finish out the session — and keep voters engaged — despite COVID-19 crisis

“Democracy doesn’t pause, it adapts. While the governor continues to triage the COVID crisis, the Legislature must take advantage of existing technologies to continue doing the people’s business remotely,” said Susan Lerner, executive director of Common Cause/NY. “Public services is a matter of moral leadership, and New Yorkers need our elected representatives to commit to staying in remote session now more than ever.”

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