Schneiderman silent on scandal

Updated: 08/04/2014 6:06 PM
Created: 08/04/2014 6:02 PM WHEC.com
By: Brett Davidsen

The state attorney general responds, but doesn't answer our questions about the Moreland Commission.

News10NBC was the only ones to ask him directly about the governor-appointed commission that has come under fire.

Governor Andrew Cuomo created the commission to root out corruption in state government, but recent reports have suggested that the commission was heavily influenced by the governor and his office to avoid certain matters that may involve the governor or shed him in a bad light.

The attorney general was in Rochester Monday. It was News10NBC’s first chance to personally ask him about his office’s role in handling allegations of interference with the governor’s Moreland Commission.

New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman came to town to talk about his efforts to outfit law enforcement with bulletproof vests, but when the topic turned to the Moreland Commission, Schneiderman again ducked the issue.

Schneiderman said, "I have nothing to say. There's an ongoing investigation arising out of the Moreland Commission. I'm working with my colleagues on those and I have no comment."

Schneiderman's role was pivotal in the formation of the anti-corruption Moreland Commission. He deputized its members, giving them subpoena power to investigate corruption in state government.

Up for re-election in November, Schneiderman's opponent has hammered away, saying the AG should have been protecting the integrity of the investigations in light of recent allegations of meddling by Governor's Cuomo’s office.

John Cahill, (R) Attorney General Candidate, said, "So the questions are clear, what did the attorney general know, when did he know it and what did he do about it?"

The governor has since disbanded the commission. It has prompted the U.S. Attorney's Office to look into the matter.

NYS Senator Ted O'Brien said, "All the material, the Moreland Commission gathered, has been turned over to the U.S. Attorney's Office, who will, I have every confidence, will conduct a thorough investigation wherever it leads them and that's as it should be."

In Seneca Falls, Cuomo’s Lieutenant Governor Bob Duffy said he has faith in his boss.

Lt. Governor Duffy said, "It's something I don't have the knowledge, but I really can't comment at all on it either, and I guess the one thing, Brett, I would say going back to my first career is I think the most important thing people can do is let the facts come out."

The governor has hired a criminal attorney to represent the office in the federal investigation. Also, the Wall Street Journal is reporting that the governor's highest-ranking aide, Larry Schwartz, has agreed to meet with federal prosecutors as their investigation into the disbanding of the Moreland Commission intensifies.

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