In a press availability yesterday, Gov. Cuomo defended the Joint Commission on Public Ethics (JCOPE), the state’s new ethics commission, which has been criticized for leaks of confidential information and a lack of transparency.
The Governor said that despite these concerns, JCOPE offers oversight of the Legislature where there had been none. Before JCOPE came into existence, any ethics complaints against a legislator were the responsibility of the Legislative Ethics Commission, whose members are appointed by legislative leaders.
The Governor said:
“If we didn’t have JCOPE, right now we would be no where. If this were last year, there’s no JCOPE, this would be all up to the Legislature and the Assembly to figure out and then we’d be saying how can the Assembly deal with the issue concerning the Assembly and a powerful member of the Assembly? We are better off with JCOPE being in place than without it.”
Watch the Governor’s press availability here.
This Newsday article (behind a pay wall) provides more information.