The New York Times reported today that:
The top federal prosecutor in Manhattan, who sharply criticized Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s shutdown of a commission he had formed to investigate political corruption in New York State, is now seeking records from the state’s ethics panel.
The state’s Joint Commission on Public Ethics received a grand jury subpoena recently from the office of Preet Bharara, the United States attorney for the Southern District of New York, for all complaints the commission has received on public corruption, according to two people briefed on the matter but not authorized to speak on the record.
According to the Times, the federal prosecutor who is issuing the subpoena said that JCOPE was not itself a target of their investigation.
Bharara has taken up the work of finishing the investigations of the Moreland Commission, which Cuomo shut down prematurely as part of a deal with Albany legislators in return for modest ethics law reforms. Now, it looks like Bharara wants to help JCOPE do its job as well.
This does not bode well for anyone in Albany. Bharara is on the warpath. And, unlike the Moreland Commission, JCOPE or any other state ethics body, no one in New York state politics controls Bharara or his investigation.