Common Cause New York Says Skelos Guilty Verdict Demands Changes by Albany
- Susan Lerner
Condemns Assemblymember Blake Conflict of Interest
New York, NY — Common Cause New York Executive Director Susan Lerner issued the following statement regarding the Skelos guilty verdict:
“It took the Skelos jury only a few hours to unanimously reject the argument that former Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos was just conducting “business as usual” when he demanded frequent large campaign contributions and money for his son from Glenwood Management, a company all too willing to exploit the LLC Loophole.
The Silver and Skelos trials provided all too clear examples of how current rules for New York politics enable our elected leaders to abuse their power for personal gain. Thanks to a federal prosecutor, both men will face well-deserved punishment for their crimes. . However, justice for all New Yorkers won’t be served until we clean up the system that enables such abuse of power. More than ever, New York needs good elected officials to step forward, and separate themselves from the tarnished legacy of their former legislative leaders, Silver and Skelos. Given the Skelos verdict, it’s particularly brazen and disturbing that Assemblyman Blake today announced that he will now serve private interests as a political consultant as well as attempting to serve the public interest.
New Yorkers deserve an ethics oversight system that provides clear guidance and strict enforcement so that individual legislators are not deciding for themselves what is and is not an acceptable conflict of interest. It’s time for Governor Cuomo, Assembly Speaker Heastie and Senate Majority Leader Flanagan to step up.”