In a joint letter this afternoon, the Assembly and Senate said it would not comply with today’s deadline to hand over details of lawmakers’ outside clients to a corruption-busting panel.
The Moreland Commission set up by Gov. Andrew Cuomo sought details of any outside income lawmakers made above $20,000, such as client lists and services provided.
The Legislature hired outside lawyers, who today wrote to the commission that it essentially won’t comply.
“These demands substantially exceed what New York law authorizes,” the attorneys wrote. “All information legally required to be disclosed and relevant to any legitimate inquiry already has been disclosed.”
Lawmakers earlier this year disclosed their range of outside income and where it came from as part of an ethics law adopted in 2011. This year, Cuomo formed the corruption panel after he and lawmakers couldn’t agree on a set of steps to root out corruption in Albany after a round of scandals swept through the Capitol.
But the Legislature is claiming that the panel may be overstepping its grounds in seeking additional information.
“This Moreland Commission is constrained by the constitutional doctrine of separation of powers, and the Legislature’s independence is also safeguarded by the speech or debate clause,” the letter continued. “Accordingly, we request that we work together within the existing legal framework to find effective administrative and legislative steps to address public corruption.”