Common Cause/NY Responds to Ruling Against Independent Ethics Commission

In response to breaking news that Judge Marcelle ruled in favor of former Governor Andrew Cuomo and seeks to dismantle the newly created Commission on Ethics and Lobbying in Government (COELIG), Susan Lerner, Executive Director of Common Cause/NY, issued the following statement:

“Judge Marcelle has imposed an all consuming, and far reaching fidelity to uncontrolled executive power to deny New Yorkers independent oversight of our elected leaders. It is a fundamental tenet of good government that politicians can not police themselves, which this decision seeks to undo. Further, the judge argues that since there is no precedent for independent ethics oversight in New York state, it is somehow proof against concept rather than an argument in its favor. Corruption in New York is what’s exceptional and unacceptable to the public. The Commission on Ethics and Lobbying in Government (COELIG) is a well conceived idea from Governor Kathy Hochul that is a necessary answer to a shameful pattern of past executive overreach. The judge – and plaintiff Cuomo – prefer a toothless watchdog to an effective one. We urge the Hochul Administration and COELIG to appeal this absurd decision.”