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Top Cuomo aide’s father lobbied the governor’s office earlier this year as probes were ongoing

Susan Lerner, the executive director of watchdog Common Cause/New York, told CNBC in a phone interview on Friday that after she and her group initially called on Melissa DeRosa to be more transparent, she got a phone call from the secretary to the governor. “She refuses to provide a list of the matters that she has recused herself from. When she was first appointed we raised this issue and she said she was going to recuse herself,” Lerner said. “We said, ‘OK, let the public know which of those clients you will not be participating in discussions with.’ She refused and called to yell at me and say I was out of line to raise these issues.”

Voting & Elections 06.9.2021

New York lawmakers to approve early counting of absentee ballots, expand early voting sites

Susan Lerner, executive director of New York Common Cause, said the bill will bring New York more in line with other states where ballots can be qualified to be counted in advance. “It makes a lot of sense,” Lerner said. “And is yet another step towards bringing our election administration fully into the 21st Century.”

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.”

Advocates react to NY losing congressional seat with new census count

"People begging the state to engage in census outreach, nothing happened - 89 people. If there had been state outreach which began even in November or December of 2019, it's easy to see that we would've had hundreds of more people,” said Executive Director Susan Lerner.

Ethics 04.17.2021

Wall Street Is Donating to This D.A. Candidate. Is That a Problem?

“It’s very difficult to see how a Manhattan D.A. candidate can accept really large and numerous donations from people who are involved in industries who could easily be the subject of that office’s attention,” said Susan Lerner, the executive director of Common Cause New York, a government reform group.

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."

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