State inspector general stepping down amid criticisms over ethics investigation

NEW YORK — State Inspector General Letizia Tagliafierro, a longtime Cuomo ally has stepped down

According to City and State New York, her departure comes two weeks after most of the State Joint Commission on Public Ethics (JCOPE) voted to ask State Attorney General Tish James to investigate the conduct of the inspector general’s office in its probe of an illegal leak of confidential information from the JCOPE to Cuomo in January 2019.

Former Governor Andrew Cuomo somehow learned how individual commissioners voted in a private executive session held around the time JCOPE was deciding whether to investigate the ex-governor’s top aide Joe Percoco.

City and State New York says the inspector general’s office secretly looked into the alleged leak in early 2019, but could not prove the complaint. Tagliafierro, came under scrutiny when details about the investigation emerged showing her office didn’t interview Cuomo nor Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, whom Cuomo allegedly contacted about the private executive session vote.

Although the alleged leak happened more than two years ago, there has been rising pressure to revisit the case.

The acting inspector general will be Chief Deputy Inspector General Robyn Adair until Governor Kathy Hochul can make her own appointment