There’ been an interesting twist in the ongoing corruption investigation swirling around New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and Governor Andrew Cuomo. The Mayor has apparently had enough of all these pesky questions and he’s no longer going to cooperate with any such lines of inquiry. That might not normally be newsworthy since these are no doubt uncomfortable questions to answer, but the unique aspect of the story is who the Mayor is blaming. You see, this isn’t some Vast Right Wing Conspiracy seeking to take him down – at least as de Blasio tells it – but rather an attack from Democrat Andrew Cuomo’s office. (New York Post)
Mayor de Blasio’s fundraising lawyer vowed to “no longer cooperate” in an investigation by an Albany ethics board — claiming the query is motivated by the panel’s ties to Gov. Cuomo.
“We will no longer cooperate with what has obviously become a blatantly political exercise by an agency whose very independence is deeply in question,” lawyer Laurence Laufer said in the letter.
The Joint Commission on Public Ethics has been eyeing the mayor’s non-profit Campaign for One New York for a year — initially questioning whether it had run afoul of lobbying laws by not registering with the state.
If we simply dropped the story right there you might be left with the impression that the Governor is some sort of crusader for honest government who’s trying to root out corruption and clean up City Hall. But that story doesn’t hold up very well when you add in the fact that the FBI is closing in on Cuomo’s inner circle at the same time. In fact, they just raided the homes of two of the Governor’s biggest supporters.
The FBI raided the homes of two men close to Gov. Cuomo as part of the widening federal probe into Albany corruption, The Post has learned.
Agents carted off evidence from the Westchester home of former top Cuomo aide Joseph Percoco and the Washington, DC-area home of lobbyist Todd Howe, who was fired last week after Cuomo’s office barred state officials from any contact with him, sources said.
A Manhattan federal judge approved search warrants for at least three locations, and the raids were carried out two weeks ago, a law-enforcement source said.
These two Cuomo associates have quite the history between them, with massive tax delinquency problems (which later mysteriously disappeared) and sweetheart mortgage deals with political fingerprints all over them. Now that they’ve drawn the intense interest of the FBI, there’s no telling what sort of stories they may be sharing with law enforcement as the heat gets turned up.
These dual investigations leave the two most prominent government executives in the state in a rather awkward position. The finger pointing has begun in earnest and the once close pals seem to be engaged in a contest to try to deflect attention toward each other. (If you think I’m bad, just check out that guy!) Either way, with a couple of high ranking legislators already having been convicted, the political swamps in Albany and the Big Apple seem to be draining. Who knows what we’ll find when we finally reach the muddy bottom?