Gov. Cuomo’s decision to pull the plug on a state commission involving public corruption was controversial — but it wasn’t criminal, a top federal prosecutor announced Monday.
“After a thorough investigation of interference with the operation of the Moreland Commission and its premature closing, this Office has concluded that, absent any additional proof that may develop, there is insufficient evidence to prove a federal crime,” Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said in a statement.
Cuomo launched the panel in 2013 to probe corruption among state politicians — but disbanded it in March 2014 following the passage of ethics reforms.
U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara’s office has concluded no federal crime was committed with Gov. Cuomo’s handling of the shuttered Moreland Commission.
Shortly after, Bharara began an investigation to determine whether the governor’s office improperly meddled with the commission and why he disbanded it.
A lawyer for Cuomo’s office hailed the decision.
Gov. Cuomo (c.) announced the formation of the “Commission to Investigate Public Corruption” under the Moreland Act and Executive Law Section in 2013. He disbanded it in March 2014 following the passage of ethics reforms.
“We were always confident there was no illegality here, and we appreciate the U.S. Attorney clarifying this for the public record,” said the attorney, Elkan Abramowitz.
Bharara said his office is continuing the work the commission started.
“We continue to have active investigations related to substantive inquiries that were being conducted by the Moreland Commission at the time of its closure,” his statement said.