New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli have commented on the stunning arrest of fellow Democrat New York State Senator Malcolm Smith Tuesday morning. In a statement, Smith says he will be vindicated of charges that he plotted to rig the New York City mayoral race in a case that includes extortion and wire and mail fraud charges.
"The allegations are very serious," Cuomo said. "I was the attorney general. I spent more time working on political reform and political corruption than probably any attorney general in modern political history. So I take it very seriously, and they are serious allegations. And I hope that he fully cooperates with the investigation, and I hope the investigation is thorough and speedy and gets to the facts. But it is very, very troubling. We have zero tolerance for any violation of the public integrity and the public trust. So, they’re very serious."
"Obviously, we’re just learning what the charges are," DiNapoli said. "Everyone is presumed to be innocent. The concern is the obvious one: were there a number of elected officials and some party people, I gather, involved as well? It sends another very discouraging message to the public about what’s going on these days, and that’s a concern. So, the judicial process, the legal process will play out, but it’s important for people to continue to participate fully in our system. I urge people not to become cynical and discouraged when they hear another bit of bad news like this."