On July 2, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the formation of the “Commission to Investigate Public Corruption” under the Moreland Act. The commission’s first meeting is today. Of the 25 members appointed, one is from the Hudson Valley. Rockland County District Attorney Thomas Zugibe spoke with WAMC’s Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Allison Dunne.
Some of the beginnings of alleged political corruption in the state in 2013 included elected officials in Rockland County. Spring Valley Mayor Noramie Jasmin and Deputy Mayor Joseph Desmaret were indicted in connection with a bribery case stretching from New York City, to Rockland, to Albany. Rockland County District Attorney Thomas Zugibe says the Rockland case was not a public corruption case when his office began investigating, but evolved into one, and reached beyond his jurisdiction.
He refers to Governor Cuomo’s proposed Public Trust Act, which sought to better enable prosecutors to crack down on public corruption. Here’s why he believes the Moreland Commission is necessary.
That includes the authority to investigate and subpoena state legislators. Zugibe says the commission has a lot of ground to cover.
As for the commission’s first order of business, Zugibe says that will be decided during this first meeting.
Zugibe, a Democrat who was elected Rockland County district attorney in 2007, and re-elected to a four year term in 2011, talks about what it meant to be appointed to the bipartisan Moreland Commission.
In addition to the 25 commission members, there are four special advisors. Zugibe says the commission will meet weekly, and the first report is due December 1.