Eric Schneiderman, left, and John Cahill ()
Attorney General hopeful John Cahill yesterday called on incumbent Eric Schneiderman to end his silence over allegations that the governor’s office interfered with the workings of the Moreland Commission, which was created to root out public corruption.
Cahill, at an Albany press conference, said Schneiderman should speak out, especially since the lawyer members of the commission were deputized as assistant attorneys general.
The Moreland Commission was appointed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo but disbanded when the Legislature enacted some of Cuomo’s ethics reforms. Southern District U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara, who was critical of the shutdown, has apparently launched his own investigation.
The New York Times reported on July 23 that the Cuomo administration interfered with the work of the commission, rescinding subpoenas that potentially involved the governor’s office and controlling the work of what was touted as an independent panel.
In a 13-page response to the Times article, the Cuomo administration argued that the commission was an executive branch entity and the governor had the right to direct its focus.
But Cahill, a Republican, said Schneiderman, a Democrat, has an obligation to look into whether his deputies’ work was hindered by the governor’s office. “The people of this state … deserve to know, from our attorney general, what did he know about the alleged interference of the workings of the Moreland Commission,” Cahill said.
Damien LaVera, a spokesman for Schneiderman, said in an email: “Our office cannot comment on ongoing or potential investigations arising out of the Moreland Commission.”
The Schneiderman campaign issued a statement in response to Cahill’s press conference asserting that “no attorney general in New York state history has been as aggressive in cracking down on public corruption” as Schneiderman.