Last week, U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara unsealed a 79-page criminal complaint against three members of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s inner circle and six other individuals. The multiple counts of alleged extortion, fraud, and bribery have reignited the debate over ethics reform in Albany. During a visit to Plattsburgh on Tuesday, state Assembly Majority Leader Democrat Joe Morelle said he and other legislators are disturbed by the latest indictments.
“Legislators like myself are probably more frustrated than even the average citizen. Because when you devote yourself towards improving this state and its business climate and its opportunity to create jobs and you see things like this which undermine all that work, it’s, it’s very um, it’s very um frustrating is the word I’d use, but it’s probably far stronger than that.”
That was state Assembly Majority Leader Joe Morelle. Although the legislature is adjourned until January, Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie and Governor Andrew Cuomo are skirmishing over ethics reform legislation. The speaker wants state legislators to get a pay raise, but the governor, according to published reports, will not support raises unless the legislature passes comprehensive ethics reforms.