Thursday, November 28, 2013

US Attorney Preet Bharara , JCOPE 919





















All Star Prosecutors Like Bharara Only Come By Once in A Generation
New York will be forever grateful for Preet Bharara’s service (NYP ED) President Trump’s dismissal of Preet Bharara as New York’s US attorney leaves a giant hole here. Now the challenge is to find someone who can fill his shoes. But this much is clear: New Yorkers will long be grateful for Bharara’s work — and its impact will be long felt.  Start with his Albany house-cleaning. As Assembly speaker, Democrat Sheldon Silverwas a key power player — one of Albany’s “three men in a room” — for more than two decades; his influence on local politics was immeasurable. But Bharara zeroed in on Silver’s corrupt side and got a jury to convict him. Silver’s now out and headed for the Big House. Ditto for another of the three men, Republican stateSenate Majority Leader Dean Skelos.  Those two convictions sent tremors throughout New York’s political world. But Preet wasn’t done: His investigation of folks tied to Gov. Cuomo (the third of the three) led to eight indictments. He also launched a multifaceted probe of Mayor de Blasio and his aides. What happens there could determine the city’s next mayor.    Bharara put away numerous other lawmakers, too, pursuing them without, as he put it, “fear or favor.” And he didn’t snag just politicians: Since becoming US attorney in 2009, he’s gone after countless bad guys, from terrorists to Wall Street fatcats to gang-bangers and cyber-criminals.* Preet Bharara leaves a legacy of ethics enforcement inNew York that future U.S. attorneys should match (NYDN)  * After President Donald Trump fired or had Brooklyn U.S. Attorney Robert Capers and 45 other U.S. Attorneys resign, the race is on to find a replacement for Capers’ position and several candidates are vying for the job, the Daily News writes.













NY's Camelot Leader Bharara is Gone 
The Bad Guys Culture of Corruption Wins  . . .  There Are No Words


Hey, Mr. President: Don’t fire US Attorney Preet Bharara (NYP Ed) What’s stunning is that Bharara was included in the order. After all, both then-President-elect Trump and Attorney General-designate Jeff Sessions last November specifically asked him to stay on the job, and he agreed. Yet Friday, when asked if there were any exceptions to the order, a Justice Department spokesman said: “Everyone gone.”  Trump and Sessions were right the first time, and they need to rescind the order for Bharara, the most successful prosecutor yet when it comes to undoing New York’s culture of political corruption. Indeed, this comes as he’s still investigating the de Blasio administration and other key figures in New York for possible corruption. It’s absolutely the wrong time for him to leave. * Bharara Yet To Resign, Despite Trump Ask (Daily Beast) .@PreetBharara has not resigned, may challenge Sessions to fire him.






I dreamed a dream in times gone by When hope was high and life worth living . . . 

Trump's Preet mistake — dismissing New York's topprosecutor (NYDN Ed)  As most New Yorkers know by now, Bharara has done the job impeccably. He has applied the criminal law without fear or favor, whether to corrupt Democrat and Republican politicians, or Wall Street crooks, or terrorists, or gang leaders, or gun traffickers, or those lobbing anti-Semitic bomb threats at JCCs.  Now, he happens to be in the thick of a delicate investigation into what laws may have been broken by members of the de Blasio administration, up to and including the mayor himself, to give official favors to big-money campaign donors.  This being the mercurial Trump White House, it’s anybody’s guess where this is headed. But a senior administration official told one reporter Friday night that Bharara's resignation papers will be accepted.   Not long ago, the President recognized Bharara as a good man and fine prosecutor. We thought Donald Trump prided himself on being decisive, and having a knack for picking winners. * U.S. Attorney's Office in Limbo After Justice Dept. Asks Preet Bharara to Resign (NY1)

Zephyr Teachout‏ @ZephyrTeachout   I dont like to imagine New York politics without Bharara investigating and prosecuting corruption.



With Preet Bharara’s Dismissal, Storied Office Loses Its Top Fighter (NYT) Under his leadership, the Southern District of New York, known for its fierce independence, took on Wall Street power players, politicians and terrorists.Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara has nailed countless criminals from thieving politicians to terrorists (NYDN) Since his 2009 appointment as Manhattan U.S. Attorney, Preet Bharara has attained near folk hero status by taking on dirty politicians and taking down terrorists, gang members and Wall Street thieves. Bharara has prosecuted a rogue’s gallery of lawbreakers and forced needed reforms:

Sheldon Silver The longtime head of the state Assembly — considered one of the most powerful people in New York — was hit with public corruption charges by Bharara’s office in 2015. He was convicted of a complex scheme to line his pockets with over $5 million and sentenced to 12 years in prison earlier this year.

Dean Skelos Considered one of the “three men in a room” who ran the state government with Silver and Gov. Cuomo, the former state Senate Majority Leader was successfully prosecuted by Bharara’s office for using his influence to get no-show work for his son. Skelos was sentenced to five years in prison.




Norman Seabrook  The NYC corrections officers’ union head who was arrested on federal bribery charges last year. His trial is set to start in October. Seabrook is charged with taking a $60,000 cash bribe plus lavish trips and other luxuries in exchange for steering $20 million in union pension funds to a hedge fund.


de Blasio, His Lawyer Lobbyist Kramer Levin, Cuomo and Albany Lawmakers Celebrate
Mayor de Blasio Investigators from the office sat down with de Blasio last month, grilling him about his fund-raising tactics and the possibility that City Hall traded favors for donations. The feds have been probing Hizzoner over whether he and his aide exchanged favors to donors for contributions to his 2013 campaign and his now-defunct nonprofit, the Campaign for One New York, and his connection to fund-raising for upstate senate races.


Gov. Cuomo Bharara’s office investigated the shutdown of the Moreland Commission, Gov. Cuomo’s short-lived anti-corruption committee. A pair of former Cuomo advisers were charged last year in a massive bribery and bid-rigging case related to a criminal investigation into the governor’s much-touted upstate economic development programs, including Buffalo Billions and SUNY Polytechnic.






HIGH NOON The Media Ignores the Real Fact That the Mayor Will Be Interviews By Bharara This Week or Next for Selling His Office

















Not Only Has the Media Ignored Bharara Challenged Three Years Ago to Do More Investigating They Have Done All They Can to Cover-Up His Investigations By Limiting the Coverage
Preet Bharara challenged journos to do investigative reporting (CrainsNY) "Rather than just covering the cases that my office and other offices are already bringing, figure out ways to break new ground and to cover new stories," Bharara said. "Groundbreaking corruption coverage is not just good copy, it's a path to good government." Bharara. The press has a role to play. "Rather than just covering the cases that my office and other offices are already bringing, figure out ways to break new ground and to cover new stories," he said  The media has not responded to the U.S. Attorney request.  Today mostly what you read in newspapers feels like press releases. The former DA of Brooklyn called reporters stenographers. The entire 2013 campaign was full of press release promising more services for NYCHA tenants. The press never asked the candidates with the federal cuts in public housing where the funds were going to come from to repair the building.  As recent events have indicated there is no money to fix public housing.








Bharara Slush Funds Invatation to Corruption True News in 2014 Called Campaign for One NY Was A Political Slush Fund
Slush funds are an invitation to corruption: Bharara (NYP) “Slush funds” like the one set up by the City Council nearly a decade ago should set off the alarm bells for all honest elected officials, US Attorney Preet Bharara said Monday.  “The public deserves to see where their money is going and for what purpose. Who puts the money in? Are there subcontractors? Shell companies? Be on top of that. Be wary of slush funds for council members,” Bharara told the Association of Towns of the State of New York at the Marriott Marquis in Midtown.  During his 13-minute speech, Bharara also bragged about not only bringing cases against “Albany’s bad apples,” but also prosecuting “municipal miscreants.”  “They include council members from New York City and Yonkers and elsewhere — municipal workers who decided to defraud the very people they were appointed to serve, party officials that thought nothing of skewing and election and broke the law to do it, Bharara pointed out.  “Third-party contractors who saw an opportunity to steal public money without providing the service is paid for.”

Bharara Looking Out For Kyptonite Fromm Albany Mob What About Team de Blasio? 

At first, Bharara made light of his Presidents Day speech, joking that the audience members had planted “kryptonite” in anticipation of his arrival due to his take-no-prisoners approach to Albany corruption.  “The corruption work I do, the subpoena power I have, why get up early on a holiday, it’s Presidents Day, shave, put on the suit, come all the way to the Marriott Marquis at some risk to myself because I can only imagine that this is some form of kryptonite on the ceiling,” Bharara said to chuckles in the crowd.  “Why come to speak to a captive audience of public officials? And the answer is that I have come to really love the sound of nervous laughter,” Manhattan’s top federal prosecutor quipped.





Daily News Says Firing Will Not Derail deB Probe Who Even Has A Clue?
Trump's firing of U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara unlikely to derail deBlasio probe (NYDN) President Trump’s firing of Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara on Saturday is unlikely to significantly derail the ongoing investigation into de Blasio’s fund-raising — or the political calculations of those considering running against the mayor in November — experts told the Daily News.  Under normal circumstances, the assistant U.S. attorneys investigating de Blasio would not be affected by a change in leadership, said Bradley Simon, a criminal defense lawyer and former prosecutor in Brooklyn’s Eastern District.  “I don’t think they’re going to be affected at all unless there’s some intervention by the Justice Department,” he said. “With respect to this administration, we’re dealing with uncharted territory.”  Simon said the same is true for the case against Gov. Cuomo’s inner circle, which was brought by Bharara.  Simon noted that a deputy is generally ideologically similar to the U.S. attorney he or she serves, meaning Kim has little motivation to pump the brakes on an investigation into whether de Blasio donors were promised favors. Kim was reportedly present when de Blasio was questioned by federal prosecutors for several hours last month.  Whenever Trump does appoint Bharara’s successor, he or she will have little incentive to go easy on de Blasio, who has been a vocal critic of the President’s policies, said Jeanne Zaino, a political science professor at Iona College.  “Everybody assumed Preet Bharara was the worst thing that could happen to Bill de Blasio, but you could imagine a Republican getting in there and being just as tough, if not tougher,” Zaino said. “Certainly there’s a lot of questions coming up as to whether ... President Trump is concerned about the jurisdiction of this U.S. attorney and whether that might affect his future,” Cummings said. “You look at everything surrounding the investigations — there are a lot of questions that need to be asked.”





We Lose 
Bharara Shunned Politics. His End Was Tinged by Them. (NYT) Throughout his tenure as a United States attorney in Manhattan, Preet Bharara harped on one theme: Politics and prosecution do not mix * White House Addresses Trump’s Unorthodox Call to Bharara (NYT) * Preet Bharara’s Next Gig—How About Governor of New York?(Daily Beast) The best way to finish cleaning up the state’s Augean stables might just be to run them himself.

Bharara refused to return phone call from Trump citing DOJ rules (NYP)
Trump's Preet mistake — dismissing New York's topprosecutor (NYDNED) As most New Yorkers know by now, Bharara has done the job impeccably. He has applied the criminal law without fear or favor, whether to corrupt Democrat and Republican politicians, or Wall Street crooks, or terrorists, or gang leaders, or gun traffickers, or those lobbing anti-Semitic bomb threats at JCCs.  Now, he happens to be in the thick of a delicate investigation into what laws may have been broken by members of the de Blasio administration, up to and including the mayor himself, to give official favors to big-money campaign donors. *  U.S. Attorney Bharara Says He’s Fired After Refusing to Quit (NYT) * Preet Bharara fired from Manhattan U.S. attorney post ascritics condemn move as Trump-fueled 'political football' (NYDN) *Preet Bharara’s top aides likely to exit amid histermination from Manhattan U.S. attorney post (NYDN) * White House explains controversial, rule-bending attemptby Trump to call rock star prosecutor days before he fired him (Business Insider)  “The President reached out to Preet Bharara on Thursday to thank him for his service and to wish him good luck,” a White House official who was not authorised to speak on the record told Business Insider on Sunday. * Trump transition team member in running to replace Preet (NYP) Edward O’Callaghan, a former federal prosecutor who assisted President Trump’s transition team, is also in the running to replace ousted US Attorney Preet Bharara, sources ​told The Post on Sunday.  O’Callaghan, a Republican and former assistant US attorney, and Marc Mukasey are two lawyers mentioned as replacements for Bharara, who wasfired by Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Saturdayafter he refused ​​to step down.His father, Michael Mukasey, was appointed the US attorney general by President George W. Bush in 2007. “Both Mukasey and O’Callaghan are serious accomplished lawyers,” one prominent defense lawyer said.





Both the NYP and Daily News Did Editorials on the Harm to New York That Bharara Being Fired Will Cause to Fighting Corruption The NY Times on Team de Blasio - No Editorial but their News Story Said the Prosecutor Relished the Spotlight 






Trump Appointed Bharara and Schneiderman Has Lunch Again Whose Next? 
Eric Schneiderman and Preet Bharara power lunch (Page6, NYP) Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and US Attorney Preet Bharara had lunch together at the Odeon late last week.  Bharara and Schneiderman’s offices have several overlapping probes and remain in regular contact to ensure they’re not stepping on each other’s toes.  But their public lunch has political insiders talking.  Bharara is investigating many of Gov. Cuomo’s associates concerning what he calls the “show-the-money culture in Albany,” and he indicted the governor’s closest aide Joe Percoco for alleged bribery and bid-rigging.  Meanwhile, Schneiderman has criticized Cuomo’s ethics reform plan as “likely unconstitutional.”

More on JCOPE
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@PreetBharara  This is my personal Twitter account. Stay tuned... March 3, 6:14PM


The Same Media Which Was Campaign Out At the Pay to Play Mayor's Lawyers Office is Now Ignoring the Investigation
U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara, who has battled insider trading and Albany’s top lawmakers, launched a personal Twitter account on Friday, a rare step for a top federal law enforcement official that prompted a flurry of chatter about his motives, the Journal writes.


U.S. Attorney Bharara Meets With Trump Ask and Agrees to Stay 
A shadow government shielded from public scrutiny.  To make it worse, Rosen — as The Post has reported — routinely touted his clients to city officials, which might’ve made him an unregistered lobbyist under state law.  This week, Hizzoner dismissed any conflict of interest, claiming (misleadingly) that “Rosen’s never talked to me, since I’ve been mayor, about a client.”  De Blasio’s arrangements with “outsiders” certainly reek. Did they cross criminal lines? Ask US Attorney Preet Bharara.* Thousands of pages of emails released last week by de Blasio’s office show he often relies on the counsel of outside advisers, posing potential conflicts of interest because some of the advisers represent clients with business before the city, The Wall Street Journal reports.  *Bharara accepts Trump’s offer to ‘stay on’ as US attorney (NYP) * Preet Bharara will stay on as US Attorney at Trump's request New York Daily News *  Preet Bharara Says He 'Agreed to Stay On' Under Donald Trump Obserer
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US Attorney Bharara ‏@PreetBharara One year ago today, Sheldon Silver got justice, and at long last, so did the people of New York














True News Wags NYP That the U.S. Attorney Will End the Silly Cuomo vs. de Blasio War That is All About Them and Not the People They Serve  
Cuomo’s campaign to ‘bigfoot’ de Blasio is starting to backfire (NYP Ed) Cuomo seems determined to end the year with a nonstop series of moves to “bigfoot” Mayor de Blasio. If he keeps it up, he’ll wind up making even the mayor’s harshest critics feel sorry for the guy.  Round One, the Battle of Lefty the Deer, arguably worked out OK for the gov (though not for the deer): Cuomo scored points with lovers of innocent furry creatures by demanding Lefty’s rescue, even though the city’s “put it to sleep” approach was simply complying with state policy.  But the governor’s looking a bit silly with his posturing on the Second Avenue Subway.   Fine, he controls the MTA, so he can order it to officially open the new line on New Year’s Day for a fine photo op. But it’s far too late to have the new trains actually running a full schedule that day, no matter how many press releases he issues — and straphangers will notice.  As for Cuomo’s order doubling the deployment of state troopers to the city, well: Keeping the streets safe is one thing de Blasio has managed fairly well, by avoiding too much political interference with the NYPD, the best police force in America.  Indeed, de Blasio at last came up with a decent zing at Cuomo on the trooper invasion — by suggesting the state cops pitch in on the security detail at Trump Tower.   Feuding between New York’s mayor and governor is a decades-old story, for a host of reasons. It often makes for entertainment, at least for political obsessives — and the coming competition to see who wins top status as The Anti-Trump promises to be quite the show (assuming US Attorney Preet Bharara doesn’t sideline either contestant).   But the feud stops being amusing if it looks like it’s interfering with no good purpose.

 
OH DEER HIGH NOON: State Troopers Now Pawns in the Cuomo vs de Blasio War Will A U.S Attorney End the War So Our Elected Leaders Can Serve Us?
‘It’s a pissing match’: Cuomo defies de Blasio — again (NYP) Cuomo plans to double the number of state troopers in New York City, with a law-enforcement source saying the move is part of “a pissing match” between the governor and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio
De Blasio fires back at Cuomo over state trooper expansion plan (NYP) Mayor de Blasio’s ongoing sparring match with Gov. Cuomo heated up Monday night with Hizzoner getting territorial and saying the NYPD doesn’t need state troopers crossing into its jurisdiction.  “The NYPD is doing an extraordinary job keeping New York City safe … 2016 is about to be one of the greatest years of crime fighting in this city,” said de Blasio in a NY1 interview responding to a Post story about Cuomo planning to double the number of state troopers in the Big Apple.  “I assume, and we all believe, certainly [NYPD Commissioner James [O’Neill] believes, there’s a division of labor where the state police work all around the state, including on MTA facilities, for example, owned by the state. Great. And let the NYPD do what it does best.” * De Blasio also continued his sparring match with Gov. Andrew Cuomo, saying the NYPD doesn’t need state troopers crossing into its jurisdiction after reports emerged that Cuomo is planning to double the number of state troopers in New York City, the Post reports.  * New Yorkers don’t want Cuomo to run for president (NYP) * In year NY legalizes MMA, UFC parent company gives bigmoney to Cuomo, pols Update Cuomo pledges 150 additional state troopers to patrol city (NYP)




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Trump Finish Cleaning Up NY Govt Corruption By Keeping U.S. Attorney Bharara de Blasio Trump My 2017 LICH Prop

De Blasio is heading into his re-election year, with Cuomo presumably to follow in 2018. For better or worse, each deserves unequivocal conclusions to the investigations and related activities that Bharara has initiated. The prosecutor needs to drop the hammer or lift the cloud, to be blunt. And New Yorkers need a clean resolution also, for otherwise, a restoration of confidence in their government is impossible.
President Trump should let Preet Bharara finish his anti-corruption drive (NYP Ed) United States attorneys serve at the pleasure of the president. Here’s hoping that it is the pleasure of President-elect Donald J. Trump to keep junkyard-dog federal prosecutor Preet Bharara on the job long enough to finish the extraordinary work he has undertaken in New York.  Custom has it that US attorneys stand ready to depart when a new president is inaugurated. Bill Clinton, taking office in 1993, demanded — and received — resignation letters from all 93 federal prosecutors. New brooms, as they say, sweep clean. Bharara, if not a new broom, is certainly a big one, and he’s been sweeping clean since President Obama — on the recommendation of Sen. Charles Schumer — appointed him US Attorney for the Southern District of New York in 2009. That’s one of the most challenging prosecutorial posts in the federal government, albeit one that has generally focused on Wall Street and the financial markets. Bharara widened the brief to include New York government at the state and local level — scoring spectacular, if substantially incomplete, results.   Former New York Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and one-time state Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos are on their way to federal prison; former key aides to Gov. Cuomo await formal indictment in separate scandals; and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration has been hamstrung by at least five investigations — most of them conducted, initiated, or materially aided by Bharara.  Not since Manhattan District Attorney Thomas Dewey went after Tammany Hall to splendid effect some 80 years ago has a single prosecutor had the effect on political corruption in New York that Bharara has already achieved. Yet for all of that, much remains to be done, with not much time to do it if standard succession conventions are observed.  New York will never be free of corruption. Greed, stupidity, and arrogance are part of the human condition — arguably nowhere more acutely than in the Empire State. Bharara’s singular service to date has been to impose a measure of restraint on business as usual.





Who Cares About Mayor's Helicopter Rides When Trump Appoints Apocalpypse Now Bharara to Keep Arresting NY's Political Swamp Class No Editorials On Trump Re-Apointment of Bharara 


























 De Blasio’s change of heart on riding in police choppers (NYP) Mayor de Blasio has apparently had a flying change of heart. He once said he preferred not to travel via police helicopter because “it’s just not my thing. I prefer to be on the ground.” But he’s now logged 10 NYPD chopper trips in just the last three months.  That makes a total of 14 flights this year, after three in 2014 and only two last year.





Trump Clear the NY Swamp
"President elect Trump after meeting with the fearless United States attorney Preet Bharara, in a move more poignant then any before, declared that America, a nation of laws, will enjoy law enforcement without regard to political party labels: Republican or Democrat. After all, as has been said before, there is no democratic or republican way to lock up a criminal.   That Preet shared, within the confines of the law, his areas of interest with POTUS45 resulted in, as I had publicly hoped and urged, Trump offering Preet four more years. To our great benefit, Preet who can do anything he wants and go anywhere he wants, chose to remain the "Horatio Hornblower" of the United States Attorneys for the Southern District of New York and continue to battle against those who play checkers while Preet plays chess. The fumigation and disinfectant of Albany and Cityhall is far from over, because those in dire need of being indicted, convicted and severed from their arrogant corrupt roots of power were playing the "run the clock out game" - suddenly find themselves checkmated by President elect Trump. I know that all hard-working New Yorkers are celebrating with unexpected joy that they have Preet back on their side to eviscerate the casual and comfortable corruption that has taken residence in the great state of New York.   Given Preet Bharara's exceptional service to the people of these United States, meeting, and I believe well exceeding, the power that emanates from the chair of the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York - I hope that then-president Trump will appoint Preet to become a justice of the United States Supreme Court when the next vacancy occurs - beyond the one created by the untimely demise of the great Nino Scalia.  There is inherent greatness and Preet, much like the America we love and the Constitution we cherish and protect from enemies foreign and domestic."  Ravi Batra
De Blasio taking significantly more helicopter rides this year (NYP) *  Mayor de Blasio’s Trips by Police Helicopter Rise Sharply, Records Show (NYT) Mayor Bill de Blasio has taken 10 rides by police chopper in the last three months. Before that, he had traveled that way a total of eight times since taking office.* Over the last three months, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has taken 10 trips by police helicopter to various parts of the city – a sharp increase from his travel patterns earlier in his mayoralty, according to Police Department logs, The New York Times writes.  * Albany has repeatedly demonstrated its unwillingness to change on its own, and it’s a relief that U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara will continue his essential work in the Trump administration after January, the Buffalo News writes.












Federal Investigation Upstate Updates
 In court filings, attorneys for G. Steven Pigeon, a Buffalo political operative indicted on nine counts of bribery and extortion, argue the case should be dismissed because evidence was illegally collected during a 2015 raid on his home, The Buffalo News reports.  * COR Development, a firm reportedly at the center of a federal investigation involving Cuomo development projects, is suing Todd Howe, a former lobbyist who is part of the probe, over an $85,000 loan the company says it made Howe, The Syracuse Post-Standard reports. * * In the ongoing court battle over “pay to play” allegations by a Cleveland developer, Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown is shaking up his legal defense team, replacing one big name with another, apparently to avoid a conflict of interest, The Buffalo News reports.


Schumer Hillary Not Clear on Political Corruption Fighter Bharara's Future 
Chuck Schumer says Preet Bharara is doing a great job,but won’t reveal if he wants the prosecutor back under next President (NYDN) *
Time For Preet to Clear His Plate (Manhattan Institute) The multiplying investigations of the de Blasio administration need resolution.
Hillary Clinton won’t commit to reappointing U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara (NYDN) b Clinton during an appearance before the Daily News Editorial Board on Saturday would not commit to re-appointing Bharara should she win  "I will take all that into account if I'm lucky enough to be elected President," Clinton said when asked about Bharara's performance in cracking down on government corruption. "I obviously want the very best people to be U.S. attorneys," she said. "I want them to give no favor to anybody. If there are cases to be investigated and made, they should do it." But she quickly added that "I'm not going to comment on any particular personnel decision."












Trump Appointed Bharara and Schneiderman Has Lunch Again Whose Next? 
Eric Schneiderman and Preet Bharara power lunch (Page6, NYP) Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and US Attorney Preet Bharara had lunch together at the Odeon late last week.  Bharara and Schneiderman’s offices have several overlapping probes and remain in regular contact to ensure they’re not stepping on each other’s toes.  But their public lunch has political insiders talking.  Bharara is investigating many of Gov. Cuomo’s associates concerning what he calls the “show-the-money culture in Albany,” and he indicted the governor’s closest aide Joe Percoco for alleged bribery and bid-rigging.  Meanwhile, Schneiderman has criticized Cuomo’s ethics reform plan as “likely unconstitutional.”



Scared Pols Want Bharara Too Do Their Job of Bring Down de Blasio True News Wags WSJ On Federal Investigation Will Shape the Mayor's Race
Investigations Will Shape New York Mayoral Race (WSJ) How they unfold is likely to determine whether Bill de Blasio faces a difficult race or skates to a second term  de Blasio didn’t come to New York City Hall last Tuesday and instead spent the day at Gracie Mansion, talking with campaign consultants and government aides, eating pizza and plotting his 2017 re-election campaign, according to people familiar with the matter.   At the campaign kickoff retreat, Mr. de Blasio, a Democrat, was in an upbeat mood as the team outlined a fundraising strategy, planned a campaign message focused on shoring up his base of support and scrutinized possible opponents, these people said.    The group, sitting around a table downstairs, also discussed the state and federal investigations into Mr. de Blasio’s administration and fundraising activities, these people said. They examined how the investigations could affect potential challengers and a race that the mayor’s allies believe shouldn’t be difficult to win, they said.   Several people who received subpoenas in connection with the investigations were at the summit, these people said. Investigators are looking at whether the mayor exchanged government actions for donations, people familiar with the matter have said. No one has been accused of wrongdoing, and the mayor has said he and his allies abided by all laws.   The way in which these investigations unfold is likely to play a significant role in whether Mr. de Blasio faces a difficult race or skates to a second term, the mayor’s allies and potential rivals have said.

Is JCOPE Moving Against de Blasio's Campaign for One NY Because the Feds are Ready to Pounce?
The inquiry by the ethics panel, which has the authority to bring administrative actions and seek fines, is separate from more than a half-dozen federal and state criminal investigations that in recent months have examined various aspects of the mayor’s political fund-raising. One of those, being conducted by federal prosecutors in Manhattan and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, has also focused in some measure on the Campaign for One New York, according to people briefed on the matter.


JCOPE is A Joke: Outside Income Law Rarely Enforce Ignored Mostly 

From the conviction of former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver to the recent federal charges against former top Cuomo administration official Joe Percoco, the issue of state officials' outside jobs — and the potential for graft created — has sparked calls for reform.  But there is already law on the books that would shine substantial sunlight on such arrangements. Yet it doesn't appear to be enforced very well.   The law, passed in 2011 as part of Gov. Andrew Cuomo's first ethics reform bill, requires lobbyists or their clients who pay a state employee more than $1,000 in a year to submit a form detailing the exact amount every six months. It also requires a description of the nature of the state employee's outside work.  Since the law was passed, only 24 lobbying clients and 11 lobbyists have submitted paperwork detailing the hiring of state officials, according to the website of the Joint Commission on Public Ethics, the state's lobbying watchdog agency.  The law was passed in the wake of the 2009 trial of ex-Senate Majority Leader Joseph L. Bruno, in which federal prosecutors charged the Brunswick Republican with using his position to enrich himself through a business he operated on the side. He was convicted on two federal charges, which were later overturned because of a U.S. Supreme Court decision. In a second trial, he was acquitted.Disclosure  law for outside income often ignored, rarely enforced (TU)  State officials take side jobs, but their employers fail to tell JCOPE about it




New JCOPE Subpoenas Fly At de Blasio's Campaign For One NY PAC As Federal and Manhattan DA Investigation Continues
Ethics Panel Investigating de Blasio’s Nonprofit Is Said to Issue Broad Subpoena (NYT) A state ethics panel investigating Mayor Bill de Blasio’s political nonprofit organization has served a sweeping subpoena on City Hall seeking communications among the mayor, his aides, the nonprofit, its donors and consulting firms that worked for it, people with knowledge of the matter said.  The scope of the subpoena suggests a widening of the investigation by the State Joint Commission on Public Ethics, which enforces state lobbying laws and has been focused on whether the group, the Campaign for One New York, illegally lobbied the city in 2015. At the same time, several lawyers representing donors to the group who have been contacted by the panel said the inquiry also appeared to be focused on whether some donations from lobbyists or their clients who have business before the city actually constituted undisclosed gifts to the mayor. Any such undisclosed gifts would violate state lobbying laws. The subpoena was served on Sept. 14, just four days after a State Supreme Court judge in Albany rejected the group’s effort to quash two earlier subpoenas from the panel. The judge ordered the nonprofit and several consulting companies that had done work for it and for Mr. de Blasio’s mayoral campaign to provide almost all of the documents sought by the panel, also known as Jcope. In doing so, the judge rejected arguments from the group and the mayor that the panel’s inquiry was politically motivated. The ruling limited the group’s efforts to stop disclosure of communications with the consulting companies and their employees. Mr. de Blasio, a Democrat, had contended that such communications were privileged and should be kept confidential.  The new subpoena, according to people familiar with it, seeks a broad range of documents and communications from the mayor, his senior aides and anyone in City Hall assigned to do work related to the nonprofit, which shut down in March.  It also seeks emails from the mayor and his staff to donors, lobbyists, consultants and reporters, as well as any telephone logs, calendars or schedules relating to the mayor and the nonprofit, the people said.




de Blasio One NY PACInterlocking-directorates Slush Fund, Berlin Rosen, Bill Hyers, Red Horse




Bharara: Not a Problem That Can Be Solved by Prosecution the Media and Other Politicians Need Help Fight The Culture of Corruption in Albany 
This week NY Nowhas an exclusive sit-down interview with U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara.  The man who famously took down the two former legislative leaders in the same year has not slowed down in bringing forward cases of public corruption, as evidenced by the latest charges brought up last month against former Cuomo aide Joe Percoco among others.  Listen to Preet Bharara explain why the SCOTUS 'McDonnell' decision has no impact on the Silver and Skelos corruption convictions. [Note: Fmr state senator John Sampson was the first to have his McDonnell appeal rejected by a federal appeal court.

SHOCK POLL: 94% say Cuomo bears at least some responsibility for allegedcorruption... 


Several lawmakers are calling for broad reform of the State University system’s contract procurement process, following charges against SUNY Polytechnic Institute president Alain Kaloyeros for alleged bid rigging, Politico New York reports.

U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara


US Attorney Bharara: Contribute to Investigative Journalism

Bharara: Yep. Too many PR people who spin and not nearly enough reporters who report.

Bharara: “I would encourage anyone who is in a position to fund investigative journalism to fund it. … It is money well spent."
Bharara told the audience at the gala that he was perplexed as to why no one asked him at the press conference where he announced the charges how his office started the investigation in the first place. “That case got started because journalists in Buffalo and elsewhere started to write that there were shenanigans they believe that were going on with the bidding of contracts in Buffalo,” Bharara said. “And you know what we did? We started to investigate.” “A lot of the greatest work that prosecutors and watchdogs do comes from the work that journalists do and I would encourage anyone who’s able to fund investigative journalism to spend money on it because it’s money well-spent and it’s good for the cause,” he added.


@SquarePegDem  Apr 22  Gary Tilzer (@unitedNYblogs) warned that BdB circle of friends, lobbyists & PACs were up to no good. Like #Cassandra, he was ignored.







IN INTERVIEW, BHARARA SAYS "PUTTING CORRUPT POLITICIANS IN JAIL MAY BE NECESSARY, BUT IT’S NOT SUFFICIENT"

PB: I don’t know how much impact it’s had yet on culture. The first and most important effect I think it’s had is it’s held people accountable, over a dozen people accountable just in the state Legislature, approximately. Just that alone I think is significant, and it sends a message to everyone in the public that this kind of conduct is not going to be tolerated. And people are paying attention and people are taking it seriously. And people are not afraid to go after folks who have power and have standing, and it doesn’t matter because no one is above the law. And I think, eventually, that has an effect on the people and the institutions that we’re looking at and investigating over time, and people get the message, I think. Particularly, there are a lot of smart people who are in politics and realize it’s not worth losing your liberty over, it’s not worth losing your reputation over, to engage in that conduct and conduct that they know is bad and unlawful. And I think over time that causes the situation to get better. But we can’t do it alone, and nobody here pretends that simply bringing a series of prosecutions is enough. I often say putting corrupt politicians in jail may be necessary, but it’s not sufficient.




Chartock Yes Albany is Rigged and Losing Bharara Make Me Queasy 
ALAN CHARTOCK: Yes, Donald, the political system is rigged (Daily Freeman) Donald Trump suggests that the system is “rigged.” He should know — he’s been playing the system for years, as giant real estate developers are known to do. Let’s stop for a moment and examine whether New York’s political system is rigged. It is, of course, and I can prove it.  Take, for example, the gerrymander that goes on when we draw the districts from which the legislators run. We all know that the majority party in each house draws the district lines to give themselves maximum advantage. They use complex  computers to help them in this evil work which really does subvert democracy. They shove as many bodies as they can into one district so that the surrounding districts have a better chance of going their way. We send our kids to foreign countries to “fight for democracy” yet we rig elections right here at home. As my son often says to me, “That ain’t right.”

Then, too, the system is rigged in favor of those people who have the most money. Big corporations and well-heeled people invest millions to make things come out the way they want them too. It’s not surprising some of these people can invest hundreds of thousands of dollars or more to lobby the Legislature. They know that the money they invest in campaigns will bring them a great return on their “investment” into controlling the way things go. That’s a pretty good investment — a lot better than your stock broker can get.  The rigging goes even further when we consider the fact that so few politicians in both houses ever lose their seats. Once the gerrymander and the money kick in, there is little or no chance that anyone will be defeated. Now they want a whopping pay raise when so many of them work so little. Not only that, they make a lot of money on the outside because of their legislative titles. We all know it and the time has come to put a stop to it by limiting outside income. Hey, they even do that in the United States Congress. Voters know when they are being had but they opt out because of sheer frustration. My students tell me that their parents often say, “They’re all crooks.” They may not be but they sure rig the system. That’s why, whenever New York City residents have had the opportunity to vote for term limits, they’ve done so overwhelmingly. If the rest of the state  was ever given a chance to vote on term limits, they would, too, despite the fact most people like their own representatives. Now they want to saddle us with a constitutional convention that will be controlled by the same people who bring us the New York State Legislature. If people vote for that pig in a poke they ought to have their heads examined. Politicians tend to speak with forked tongues and that’s a big problem. Take Governor Andrew Cuomo, who always insists that he wants to reform the system. Now he is surrounded by aides, including his so-called best friends, who are under investigation. He claims to be a Democrat but insiders have known for years that he is very comfortable with having Republicans in control of the State Senate. This year he knows he’ll face a primary if he continues to do that so there are signs that his duplicity in this area will have to be modified. What are you going to do when a guy says one thing and does another? There is so much rigging in our state system that it will take more like Preet Bharara to put Humpty back together again. Not surprisingly, the big fish pols, including Hillary Clinton, seem disinclined to reappoint him as prosecutor. I am  going to vote for Hillary Clinton as the lesser of two evils. The whole thing makes me queasy.* * Contributing to political nonprofits through a law firm or other entity allows donors to hide their identities, and the Legislature that  ought to be closing such loopholes as quickly as lawyers find them instead leaves them gaping for years, the Times Union writes.

Why New Yorkers Don't Vote, Sucking Power Out of Neighborhoods, Walmartization of Campaigns





Bharara Send Silver to Jail Now


Preet Bharara wants Sheldon Silver to go straight to jail (NYP) Convicted former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver should go straight to jail, Manhattan US Attorney Preet Bharara argued in a letter to a federal judge.  The filing late Wednesday by Bharara’s prosecutors cited an appeals court’s action hours earlier in upholding the punishment to one of Silver’s corrupt* Convicted former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver should go straight to jail, Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara argued in a letter to a federal judge citing an appeals court ruling in the case of former Assemblyman Eric Stevenson, the Post reports.
Sheldon Silver's $80K Yearly Pension Could Be Up For Grabs By Feds(DNAINFO)
A new court ruling could stop corrupt New York politicians from keeping their pensions.

The Courts & Bharara Took Away Corrupt Pols Pension Which Albany Would Not Do 
Court’s ruling on corrupt NY pols’ pensions is long overdue (NYP)  Corrupt New York pols who dream of retiring with fat, taxpayer-provided pensions just took a big hit in court.  Score one for justice and common sense. On Wednesday, a three-judge panel of the 2d US Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that pensions of convicted lawmakers can be seized — even though the state Constitution prevents those egg nests from being “diminished or impaired.” US Attorney Preet Bharara has been targeting the retirement pay of legislators he’s convicted, rightly calling it a “galling injustice” that crooked pols continue to collect cushy pensions until “their dying day.” The two corrupt former legislative leaders, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos, are in line for $80,000 and $96,000 respectively. But the judges said disgraced former Assemblyman Eric Stevenson must surrender the $22,000 he paid into the system because the state Constitution is “pre-empted” by federal law, which allows “forfeiture” of property derived from a crime “irrespective of any provision of State law.” In 2011, Albany stripped newly elected legislators of their pensions if convicted. But they couldn’t touch those already in office, like Silver and Skelos, because of the state Constitution. This year, after much kicking and screaming, the Legislature OK’d a constitutional amendment to allow the pensions of corrupt veteran pols to be seized retroactively. But it wouldn’t take effect for at least several years. Which makes the 2d Circuit’s ruling all that more important. Crooked pols have long rested easy knowing they had a taxpayer-funded cushion to fall back on if they got caught. That cushion was just yanked from under them.*
* A federal Court of Appeals ruled that disgraced former Assemblyman Eric Stevenson’s pension contributions are available to the feds as they seek to recoup $22,000 in ill-gotten gains, the Times Union reports.


A New President Could End the Era of Bharara Corruption Fighting in NY

There's a reason Preet Bharara may feel pressure to finish politician investigations (NYDN)With time possibly running out on crusading U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara's term, many in New York's political and legal circles are bracing for a frenzy of activity as his office works to finish up ongoing cases into the Cuomo and de Blasio administrations before the next President takes office. "When a U.S. Attorney is about to leave office, there's a lot of pressure on the assistants to finalize cases and indictments and bring them to fruition," former federal prosecutor Bradley Simon said. "In this case, he's concerned about his legacy and he's going to want all unfinished business completed." Simon said there's always a concern the next U.S. attorney may not place the same emphasis on particular cases. "The existing U.S. attorney doesn't want to take chances or see all their hard work going out the window," he said. "Once there is an indictment, a new US attorney can't go and pull it.

Bharara Declines Assembly GOP Invite To Albany (YNN)The 3 Men in A Room Avoided U.S. Attorney Bharara in Albany Today 
Cuomo Sidesteps Bharara’s Presence(YNN) Over the course of his first gaggle with reporters in Albany since October, Gov. Andrew Cuomo was asked at least multiple times about the appearance of U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara in the state’s capital city on Monday. And each time, Cuomo for the most part demurred. “I went in, I did the event,” Cuomo said when asked about Bharara. “This was a major gathering for law enforcement people — judges, colleagues from all across the state. I think the turnout was magnificent. I think that was an endorsement of the selection.” * Flanagan, At NYCOM, Avoids Bharara (YNN) Assembly Majority Leader Joe Morelle, representing the Democratic conference in the Assembly, stood in for Speaker Carl Heastie. *  Preet: Not Born To Run (YNN) U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara on Monday in Albany joked that, unlike Bruce Springsteen’s hit song, he’s not looking to run for anything anytime soon. “Given that Bruce Springsteen is in town: I was not born to run,” said Bharara, an affirmed Springsteen fan, said to the audience groaning at the pun.


Daily News Says Useless For Bharara to lecture Albany About Reform
In broad daylightthe Albany gangkeeps its dirty ways (NYDN) Visiting Albany to speak about corruption, Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara decried the “array of enablers who seem to lurk in this town.” As the prosecutor who convicted former bosses Speaker Sheldon and Dean Skelos, Bharara has been unerringly on target — until now. He is wrong because there’s no need to lurk in Albany. Openly, the Legislature has written rules to give money free rein over policy, end accountability and ensure lifetime tenure once elected. Every level of government in New York, from the governor’s office to the tiniest town clerk, must open its records for public under the Freedom of Information Law — except the Legislature. Every policy-setting level of government in New York, from local library boards to the board of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, must do business in public — except the Legislature. No one in Albany lurked in blanketing the Legislature from public view. Lawmakers openly voted to shield their business from public view. No one in Albany lurked in writing campaign finance regulations that allow monied interests to donate virtually unlimited sums of money. No one in Albany lurks as lawmakers pressure lobbyists for money in and around the Capitol. No one in Albany lurks as the bosses buy the loyalty of lawmakers with thousands of dollars on top of their salaries .  And — a particularly timely example — no one lurked in writing rules that give party bosses power to hand-pick loyalists for vacated seats, relieving them of having to compete for voter approval.* The Times Union writes that U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara’sspeech in Albany did not offer specific ethics suggestions but served as a reminder to legislators that “there is a cop on the beat, ready to clean house if they don’t:” * The Daily News writes that contrary to Bharara’s statement that enablers seem to lurk in Albany, the Legislature has openly written rules that give “money free rein over policy, end accountability and ensure lifetime tenure once elected:” Q&A: Preet Bharara on Glenwood, quid pro quo, lack of Wall St. jailings and more @PreetBharara met with the TimesUnion ed board while he was in Albanyon Monday.
Ravi Batra @RaviBatra
Can we try tools of drug war to corruption? Give amnesty to Pols & jail all those greedy Corrupters & crooked lobbyists



Bharara: I Am Not Done With Albany's Culture of Corruption
Bharara warns Albany he’s not done targeting corruption (NYP) “We’re not closing up shop any time soon,” Bharara said on WAMC radio. He opened the broadcast with a blast at the culture of corruption in Albany that enabled Silver, the Democratic former Assembly speaker, and Skelos, the Republican ex-Senate majority leader. “People knew — people knew before the prosecutors showed up, before the FBI showed up,” Bharara said. “People always know. You think no one knew Sheldon Silver was corrupt before he was put in handcuffs? Not a chance.”* Preet Bharara, U.S. Attorney, Takes a Victory Lap in Albany After Winning Corruption Cases (NYT) The prosecutor visited New York’s state capital on Monday, where he received an admiring reception. * During his first visit to Albany since taking office in 2009, U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara saidthere was a common thread to the public corruption cases he has pursued to conviction: “People knew.” * Bharara called on everyone from the public to rank-and-file legislators to get involved in reducing Albany’s “crisis of corruption” that has produced a culture of bribery, kickbacks and a “rancid” environment. “It calls for a re-examination of the culture of our public institutions,” he said. “It’s not just the corrupt actors themselves who bear responsibility.”* The US attorney repeatedly hammered the complacency and implicit collaboration of other lawmakers, whom he called “enablers” in Albany’s corrupt culture. “What’s been going on in New York State government lately is simultaneously heartbreaking, head-scratching and almost comic,” he said. * Bharara warned he’s not yet done investigating corruption in Albany, saying: “We’re not closing up shop anytime soon.”* Both the governor and Bharara attended DiFiore’s swearing-in ceremony, but did not speak to one another. Bharara had his eyes closed on repeated occasions during Cuomo’s speech — maybe resting up for the Bruce Springsteen show he was set to attend last night in Albany.*  Flanagan: Banning Outside Income Not A Priority For Voters (YNN)* Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie and the Working Families Party are pushing back against Cuomo’s assertion that there’s “no reason or appetite” for a tax hike on the rich this year.
.@PreetBharara says both Silver and Skelos “marginalized” and “some might say, infantilized” their caucuses. #nyassembly #nysenate

"A nation of sheep will beget a government of wolves."-- Edward R. Murrow 








Bharara Going to Albany to Meet With Mayors
Feb. 8 promises to be a very busy day in Albany for US Attorney Preet Bharara. On top of speaking to the state Conference of Mayors in the morning and attending an already sold-out talk with WAMC in the later afternoon, Bharara plans to attend the swearing-in ceremony for the state’s new chief judge, Janet DiFiore.* Crusading US Attorney Preet Bharara took a sharp dig at former U.S Attorney General Eric Holder, under whom he served from 2009 until Holder stepped down in last year, for how he handled the fallout from the 2008 financial crisis.

Bharara Coming To Albany (YNN) U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara is heading to Albany next month to meet with the New York Conference of Mayors. Bharara will attend NYCOM’s winter legislative meeting, scheduled for Feb. 8, at the Hilton Albany, less than a mile down the hill from the state Capitol. Gannett’s Albany bureau first reported the news of Bharara’s planned visit.* Kolb Urges Legislative Leaders To Invite Bharara To Albany (YNN) * US Attorney Preet Bharara, the most feared man in Albanyis traveling to the Capital City next month to speak on corruption issues. But his remarks won’t be before the state Legislature. Instead, he will address the New York State Conference of Mayors on Feb. 8. * While he’s in town, Bharara will also speak at 4 p.m. at The Linda, WAMC’s Performing Arts Studio, 339 Central Ave.Albany. The radio station will broadcast the event live. Citizens Union, the New York Public Interest Research Group, the League of Women Voters and Common Cause New York are co-sponsoring the free event.* Bharara to speak to NY mayors about government ethics (NYP) * Bharara Talks Running For Governor, Compares Wall Street To Albany (YNN) U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara quickly shot down a question on whether he is running for governor during a question-and-answer session on Friday at John Jay College“I am not,” Bharara said. * Culture Matters’and ‘Legislatures Actually Matter,’ Says Bharara In Push for Reform (NYO) He refused to back away from his claims that Albany is a “cauldron of corruption,” and had an endemic and systemic atmosphere of permissiveness that allows for misconduct, just like some corporations do. “Culture matters. There’s more corruption in certain firms on Wall Street than in others, there’s more corruption in some state capitals than others,” he said. “Institutions have to be established in a way, and have to be governed in a way, and have to have a certain kind of culture that brings out the best in people.”




 U.S Attorney PreetBharara Assesses Eric Holder’s Failure to Prosecute Wall Street (NYO) Crusading U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara took a sharp dig at former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder—whom he served under from 2009 until Mr. Holder stepped down in last year—for how he handled the fallout from the 2008 financial crisis. Asked why the Justice Department had not brought criminal charges against any top Wall Street figures in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis, Mr. Bharara, known for his zealous prosecution of insider trading and public corruption, suggested the problem came from over his head. “I don’t think there was a failure of resources there, or a failure of will,” Mr. Bharara answered. “Decisions were made about who would look at which bad things which arose from the financial crisis. And maybe, it’s possible that someone, you know, taking a step out, maybe someone should ask that question later in the day of an individual who’s coming.” The dryly sarcastic comment provoked a low murmur of laughter in the auditorium. Mr. Bharara openly named Mr. Holder when asked later about the delayed prosecution of Khalid Sheikh. The 9/11 Commission called Mr. Mohamed the “architect” of the 2001 terror attacks on the World Trade Center.




NYP's Dicker Winners and Losers in 2015
The biggest winners and losers in New York politics this year ( NYP) ’Tis the season . . . to name the winners and losers in New York politics in 2015. And while losers have dominated the state political scene for years, nothing compares to the slate that emerged in the top ranks of our electoral system this year. A year ago, Sheldon Silver (D-Manhattan) was the Assembly speaker and the second-most- powerful Democrat in the state, while Dean Skelos (R-Nassau) was the Senate majority leader and the most powerful Republican in New York. Today, they’ve been ousted from office as convicted felons guilty of public corruption and on a fast track to federal prison. A year ago, Gov. Cuomo was just off a re-election victory and there was talk around that he might yet be a contender for the 2016 Democratic presidential or vice-presidential nomination. Today, Cuomo is polling at his lowest public-approval ratings ever, has flip-flopped on what he once claimed were core policy issues, and is, most ominously, in the cross hairs of the continuing corruption probe being led by hard-charging US Attorney Preet “Stay tuned’’

 Bharara. Silver and Skelos are, of course, the biggest Losers of the Year for 2015 — perhaps, as a pair, even the biggest losers in New York political history. And Cuomo, who still hasn’t told the public about what he knew of Silver’s and Skelos’ illegal activities as he shuttered the doors on the corruption-fighting Moreland Commission, is clearly the runner-up as Loser of the Year — with talk increasing that he’ll face a challenge in the Democratic primary should he seek re-election in 2018. 


As with the biggest losers, the Winner of the Year — the biggest winner since a then-little-known prosecutor named Rudolph Giuliani declared war on another set of corrupt politicians in the mid-1980s — isn’t hard to choose. He’s clearly Bharara, who initiated the successful prosecutions of Silver and Skelos as well as of former Senate Majority Leader Malcolm Smith (D-Queens), former Senate Deputy Majority Leader Tom Libous (R-Binghamton) and a long roster of other crooked pols. And he’s done anything but rest on his laurels. Bharara has emerged as the public’s avenging angel against those who have corrupted our democratic system in Albany. and he has clearly chosen the role of the crusader who is determined to set things right. That’s why Albany now shudders each time Bharara utters the ominous words, “Stay tuned.’’


90% of New Yorkers Think Corruption is A Problem in Albany
Only 20% of New Yorkers Know About U.S. Attorney Brahara, The Man Who Has Already Gotten 2 of the 3 Men in the Room and Says Stay Tuned 


New Yorkers Want New Ethics Laws to Clean Up Albany, Poll Finds (NYT) In a new poll conducted by Siena College after the conviction of Sheldon Silver, the former Assembly speaker, about nine in 10 New York voters say corruption is a serious problem. The picture is unambiguously grim for the state’s lawmakers: About nine in 10 New York voters say corruption is a serious problem in Albany, including a majority who say it is a very serious problem. Nearly half of the state’s voters say recent corruption scandals have made them less likely to re-elect their own members of the Legislature. ynicism prevails about the prospects for change: Sixty-one percent of voters agreed with the statement, “Silver got caught, the next guy will do the same just more carefully.” Around two-thirds of voters said it would take new laws to prevent another scandal like the one that brought down Mr. Silver. If the recent series of corruption trials has made Preet Bharara, the United States attorney for the Southern District of New York, into something of a celebrity among political elites, he remains mostly unknown to voters. Just a under a fifth of New York voters had a favorable view of Mr. Bharara, but three-quarters had no opinion of him at all.* While 83 percent of voters statewide say the conviction of former Assembly speaker Sheldon Silver is an important step toward cleaning up Albany, only 22 percent say the conviction will convince lawmakers to act more ethically and honestly on their own. Sixty-four percent say new laws are needed to prevent unethical and illegal behavior. Sixty-one percent of voters statewide say that while Silver got caught engaging in illegal behavior, “the next guy will do the same just more carefully.” * Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s favorable-unfavorable number is largely unchanged at 51-38.* U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara’s favorable-unfavorable is 18-9, with 73 percent of all voters saying they don’t know who he is or have no opinion of him.* Many New Yorkers have lost faith in a state government that’s been embroiled in one corruption scandal after another. But instead of merely complaining, they’ll soon have a chance to tear it all down and start over. Voters will be asked in 2017 whether the state should hold a constitutional convention to consider fundamental changes to its 121-year-old state constitution. * Cuomo: Legislature Needs To Heal Itself (YNN) * Stewart-Cousins: Poll Shows NYers Want Change In Albany (YNN) * @PreetBharara on @NYGovCuomo"I'm notgoing to talk about any investigations that we have open"  (PoliticoNY) * Bharara on pension claw backs: "We will be looking at all the ways justice can be done."  * A Siena poll finds that a strong majority of New Yorkers want new ethics laws passed to clean up state government, and few of them believe corruption in Albany can be stopped by prosecutors alone, theTimes reports:  * Who’s next? Bharara won’t disclose corruption probes 
Nicole Malliotakis ‏@NMalliotakis

Not Being Charged By Bharara for Killing Moreland Does Not Clear Cuomo of Betrayal of His Pledge to Clean Up Albany
The Post writes that Cuomo should be ashamed of how he handled the Moreland Commission he convened to probe corruption, despite the fact that U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara announced he won’t bring charges against the governor
‘No indictment’ hardly clears Cuomo for his betrayal of anti-corruption (NYP) Preet Bharara’s announcement Monday surely brought one big sigh of relief: The US Attorney won’t bring charges in Gov. Cuomo’s handling of the anti-corruption Moreland Commission. Such is Albany’s perpetual dysfunction that “insufficient evidence to prove a federal crime” in the “interference with the operation of the Moreland Commission and its premature closing” is good news. Still, Cuomo should be ashamed of his Moreland record. He shut the commission down even as it was developing key evidence against Sheldon Silver and Dean Skelos, the two leaders of the state Legislature — and it’s obvious he did it at their request, in exchange for other concessions in Albany’s endless bargaining.Bharara then swooped in, grabbed the Moreland files — and proceeded to arrest, indict and convict both men.“Stay tuned,” Bharara has said repeatedly, and by his account more cases may yet come from the Moreland evidence. Plus, his no-charges decision came with a key caveat: “absent any additional proof that may develop.” And he reportedly has an active investigation into a Buffalo construction project run by a Cuomo donor. But it’s hard to think of anything Cuomo might have done that’s more pro-corruption than his stifling of the Moreland probe. Again, the commission’s work helped Bharara land the biggest anti-Albany-corruption one-two punch in living memory. How many more heads might have rolled had the governor stood behind his investigators? Andrew Cuomo rode into office on a “clean up Albany” platform — then trampled on his best chance to deliver. * With Bharara’s Moreland investigation over, Cuomo should push for stronger ethics reforms, and it will also be to Western New York’s advantage if Bharara’s probe into the Buffalo Billion ends the same way, The Buffalo News writes: 












NY's Man of the Year U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara

Bharara Asks: Were Is New Yorkers Outrage As Its To Top Lawmakers Going to Jail? . . .  Where is the Pressure To Change Albany?










.@PreetBharara on @WNYC: "More whisperedwhining" from legislators than focus on fixing corruption via @Newsday * Two Silver JCOPE picks reappointed by Heastie, though one'transitioning off' (TU) * Liz Benjamin writes in Politico New York that Bharara has established himself the predominant force for the reshaping Albany, with lawmakers who once wondered how much leeway they’d have under Cuomo now afraid of the federal prosecutor: *  Recently convicted former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver’s two remaining JCOPE appointees were reappointed to new terms today by his replacement, Carl Heastie, though one will soon be “transitioning off” and replaced, a Heastie spokesman said. * Fresh off landmark convictions of two Albany legislative leaders in ManhattanU.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said there is a “deep problem” of corruption in the state Capitol. He seemed dismayed by the lack of urgency for ethics reform after the downfall of former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and former Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos.* Bharara said he is concerned that he has been hearing “a little bit more whispered whining on the part of some legislators in the press, without attribution, than focus on how to solve the problem” facing Albany.* Bharara Identifies Recurring Problems With Albany Political Culture in Media Appearances After Silver, Skelos Cases (NY1)
US Attorney Preet Bharara


Not Being Charged By Bharara for Killing Moreland Does Not Clear Cuomo of Betrayal of His Pledge to Clean Up Albany
The Post writes that Cuomo should be ashamed of how he handled the Moreland Commission he convened to probe corruption, despite the fact that U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara announced he won’t bring charges against the governor
‘No indictment’ hardly clears Cuomo for his betrayal of anti-corruption (NYP) Preet Bharara’s announcement Monday surely brought one big sigh of relief: The US Attorney won’t bring charges in Gov. Cuomo’s handling of the anti-corruption Moreland Commission. Such is Albany’s perpetual dysfunction that “insufficient evidence to prove a federal crime” in the “interference with the operation of the Moreland Commission and its premature closing” is good news. Still, Cuomo should be ashamed of his Moreland record. He shut the commission down even as it was developing key evidence against Sheldon Silver and Dean Skelos, the two leaders of the state Legislature — and it’s obvious he did it at their request, in exchange for other concessions in Albany’s endless bargaining.Bharara then swooped in, grabbed the Moreland files — and proceeded to arrest, indict and convict both men.“Stay tuned,” Bharara has said repeatedly, and by his account more cases may yet come from the Moreland evidence. Plus, his no-charges decision came with a key caveat: “absent any additional proof that may develop.” And he reportedly has an active investigation into a Buffalo construction project run by a Cuomo donor. But it’s hard to think of anything Cuomo might have done that’s more pro-corruption than his stifling of the Moreland probe. Again, the commission’s work helped Bharara land the biggest anti-Albany-corruption one-two punch in living memory. How many more heads might have rolled had the governor stood behind his investigators? Andrew Cuomo rode into office on a “clean up Albany” platform — then trampled on his best chance to deliver. * With Bharara’s Moreland investigation over, Cuomo should push for stronger ethics reforms, and it will also be to Western New York’s advantage if Bharara’s probe into the Buffalo Billion ends the same way, The Buffalo News writes: 

Bharara Moreland Shutdown Not Criminal Does Not Mean That There Not An Ethics Political Problem


BHARARA ENDS MORELAND PROBE
US Attorney @PreetBharara says "insufficient evidence to prove a federal crime" in Moreland Commission * No evidence of criminal interference in #MorelandComission shutdown. But "active probes re substantive inquiries.” * Cuomo attorney: “We were always confident there was no illegality here" * Bharara finds no crime in Cuomo's handling of Moreland panel (NYDN) * Cuomo just dodged a bullet (NYP) * The U.S. attorney’s office in Manhattan has concluded there is not enough evidence to prosecute Gov. Andrew Cuomo and his office over alleged interference with the Moreland Commission, The New YorkTimes reports:  *  With Moreland Put To Bed, Can Albany Move On? (YNN) * U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said there is “insufficient evidence” to prove that anyone in the Cuomo administration, including the governor, committed any federal crimes in the operation and 2014 shutdown of a state anti-corruption commission. But his brief statement made no mention of the status of a probe into the Buffalo Billion. * The timing of Bharara’s statement could not have been better for the governor, coming two days before his combined State of the State/budget address.


BHARARA IN ALBANY?  Cuomo’s counsel, Elkan Abramowitz, said his understanding was that Bharara’s statement also covered “any suggestion” that wrongdoing had occurred after the panel was closed down* U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara will not be coming to Albany next month to give a talk as part of a Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy speaker series as previously scheduled. But planning is afoot to reschedule the prosecutor’s appearance, potentially for some time this fall.* How Sheldon Silver Became a Convicted Felon Thanks toShady Real Estate Relationships (NYO) A laconic, religious Lower East Side pol was one of the most powerful men in real estate. Now he's looking at spending the rest of his life in prison.
Cuomo just dodged a bullet http://nyp.st/1Q0ogNE  via @nypost - Stay Tuned remains mesmerizing



Why Does the NYT Boycott Coverage of U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara Message of Corruption
The NY Times has nothing in today's paper about Bharara important ethics speech yesterday in Kentucky

The Daily News also has no coverage of Bharara Kentucky Speech and not of the newspaper editorials have any editorials on the U.S. Attorney important message that "Good People" who look the other way are just as corrupt as the people he sent to jail.
New York Legislative Session Opens in Albany With Eye on Ethics (NYT) Two empty seats reminded lawmakers that last year’s leaders of the New York State Senate and Assembly had both been convicted on corruption charges.* Albany lawmakers still can’t agree on tougher ethic laws (NYP) * Preet Bharara warns lawmakers about enabling corruption  New York Post * Preet Bharara, in Kentucky, Rails Against Corruption Wall Street Journal * Preet Bharara: The man behind NY corruption busting Rochester Democrat and Chronicle * * The state 2016 legislative session opened with calls for ethics reforms from both legislative leaders, but they disagree on key proposals, such as public financing of election campaigns and banning outside income, the Daily News reports: 

 U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara,  who secured the convictions of two top state lawmakers, while visiting Kentucky said the blame for corruption lies not only with bad actors but also with the “good people” who don’t try to stop it




Bharara Responsibility for Corruption Lies Not Only With Bad Actors, But Also With the "Good People" Who Don't Try to Stop It 
Preet Bharara SpeaksAbout Corruption in Kentucky (WSJ) FRANKFORTKy.—Preet Bharara, the U.S. attorney in Manhattan whose office recently secured convictions of two of New York state’s most powerful lawmakers, told the Kentucky Legislature Wednesday that responsibility for corruption lies not only with bad actors but also with the “good people” who don’t try to stop it. “People knew, and did nothing,” said Mr. Bharara, referring to the corruption cases in Albany. “This, perhaps, is the most unfortunate feature of the status quo in my home state—the deafening silence of the many individuals who…saw something and said nothing.” Mr. Bharara’s speech at the Kentucky General Assembly’s annual ethics training here in the state capital was his first address before a full state legislature. It came at the request of Kentucky state officials. His speech was partly instructive. He told the legislators that federal law doesn’t require an explicit quid-pro-quo, that it doesn’t matter if the official act was good for the community, or if it was done for a friend.

Mr. Bharara also defended his office’s work. Responding to lawmakers who said prosecutors didn’t understand or like politics, Mr. Bharara said: “It’s not politics that prosecutors don’t like. It’s corrupt politics.” In Kentucky in the early 1990s, more than a dozen lawmakers and lobbyists were convicted on an array of charges stemming from a wide-ranging federal probe into bribery and extortion in connection with horse-racing legislation and hospital regulations.In response to the charges, Kentucky passed a package of ethics laws and restrictions on lobbying, rules that continue to be refined. Officials here pride themselves on having some of the strictest lobbying rules in the country, including what is known as a “no cup of coffee” rule—lobbyists aren’t allowed to buy a cup of coffee for a lawmaker. New York has taken steps toward addressing what critics have called loopholes and leniencies in its ethics laws. On Wednesday, Mr. Bharara said he hoped the legislature would improve its internal policing efforts, in part because of the “embarrassment” of the recent prosecutions. * Bharara To State Lawmakers: Stop Whining And Take Action(YNN) “It’s not for me to really lecture a room full of elected leaders, a subpoena-wielding prosecutor from up north,” Bharara said. “You know your oath, you know your duty, you know your privileged position. I just have a fairly simply point to make this morning: If you want to prevent corruption, don’t enable it. If you want to deter corrupt members, don’t become their willing accomplices.” He added: “It is not just the corrupt actors that bear responsibility, but every enabler too.” He quoted transcripts from the Skelos case, in which his son Adam Skelos complained that it was like “f-ing Preet Bharara is listening to every phone call.” “Well, we were listening to that call, too — as it turned out,” Bharara quipped. He quoted transcripts from the Skelos case, in which his son Adam Skelos complained that it was like “f-ing Preet Bharara is listening to every phone call.” Well, we were listening to that call, too — as it turned out,” Bharara quipped. He quoted transcripts from the Skelos case, in which his son Adam Skelos complained that it was like “f-ing Preet Bharara is listening to every phone call.” “Well, we were listening to that call, too — as it turned out,” Bharara quipped. WATCH Bharara’s entire speech here. *“If you want to prevent corruption, don’t enable it,” Bharara said


Manhattan federal judge has scheduled former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver’s sentencing on corruption charges for April 13
“If you want to deter corrupt members, don’t become their willing accomplices.” * Preet Bharara warns lawmakers aboutenabling corruption (NYP) * He has sent chills down the spines of a few Albany legislators, but US Attorney Preet Bharara was warmly welcomed Wednesday in Kentucky‘s state house, where he addressed pols on the importance of clean ethics. “If you want to prevent corruption, don’t enable it,” he advised Bluegrass state lawmakers. New York’s own statehouse has been invaded a “rancid culture” of bribery and kickbacks, said Bharara, who recently won corruption convictions against former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and former Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos.He blamed a lack of action by the “good people” who witnessed abuses of power, but did nothing. “Looking the other way is not leadership,” Bharara said in his speech to the Kentucky pols. “Blaming the prosecutors is not leadership.” Asked why Bharara hasn’t addressed his own legislators, some local pols insisted he’d be welcome. Assemblyman Steve McLaughlin (R-Rensselaer) said he raised the idea of inviting Bharara with Assembly Republican Minority Leader Brian Kolb. “[Senate Majority Leader John] Flanagan won’t do it, [Assembly Speaker Carl] Heastie won’t do it and [Gov. Andrew] Cuomo won’t do it,” McLaughlin said. “So, I said, ‘Why don’t we do it?’” More Deeper Investigations A federal grand jury is investigating Christopher McPartland, the top corruption prosecutor in the Suffolk County district attorney’s office, for possible obstruction of justice charges as an outgrowth of the case against former Suffolk police chief James Burke.



New Hartford NY GOP Assemblywoman Tenney Invites Bharara to Sit Next to Her  
@fud31 @PreetBharara I officially invite you to address the NYS legislature. You are welcome to sit next to me on the floor 


It is Time to Call and Email the Media and Demand That They Demand That Albany Lawmakers Invite U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara to Address Them in A Joint Session Including the Governor, AG, Comptroller and Every DA in the State
Call the Editorial Board: Daily News 212- 210-2100, NY Times 212-566-1234, NY Post (212) 930- 8288, News Tips: tips@nypost.com
Call the Fake Good Govt Groups Tell Them to Pressure Albany to Allow Preet to Speak
Citizens Union: 212-227-0342, 212-463-7308 Common Cause 212-691-6421
- better to face Preet as teacher than prosecutor!


Will NY1 Hardt Cover Bharara Ethic Speech in Kentucky?

















Is There Not One NYS Lawmakers Who Thinks the Prosecutor Who Put Both of Their Leaders in Jail Should Address Them?
The Kentucky state legislature wants to hear ethics reform ideas from corruption-busting U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara, who got convictions against former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos this year.* Kentucky pols want ethic reform ideas from Preet Bharara  New York Daily News‎ * Preet Bharara: The man behind NY corruption busting Press & Sun-Bulletin‎ * More rogues join Capitol gallery Albany Times Union * Corruption cases stunned state in 2015 The Daily Star  * 2015 was a disastrous year for the leaders of the NY legislature North Country Public Radio * 2015 A Very Bad Year For New York Legislative Leaders WSKG News * Year in review: Corruption reigned in NY Poughkeepsie Journal *  Bratton On Kelly’s Crime Stat Allegations: He’s ‘EngagingIn Politics’  (WCBS)* Gannett takes a look at how U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara supplanted Andrew Cuomo as the new sheriff of State Street.


Bharara Speaks: The Trials Allowed For A Detailed Airing Of How Their Crimes Were Committed
Preet Bharara, U.S. Attorney, Sees Lessons in AlbanyCorruption Trials (NYT) Preet Bharara, the United States attorney whose office recently won the corruption convictions of two of New York’s most powerful legislators, says that Albany’s problems are deep and systemic but that potential solutions are not hard to find: They lie in the nitty-gritty evidence presented at the unprecedented trials. Mr. Bharara said that the two trials hammered home the fact that the ability of lawmakers to earn outside income, coupled with a lack of transparency, weak disclosure requirements and the concentration of power in the hands of a few, is hugely problematic. Mr. Bharara declined, as he has previously, to suggest specific reforms or remedies or to say how any such measures would be carried out. But he said the fact that both convicted lawmakers — Sheldon Silver, the former Assembly speaker, and Dean G. Skelos, the former Senate majority leader — chose to go to trial instead of pleading guilty in a quick hearing allowed for a much more detailed airing of how their crimes were committed. “All I’m saying is that what we offer in terms of the debate is the facts that were exposed in the cases that we have brought,” Mr. Bharara said.* * U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara says Albany’s problems are deep and systemic, but potential solutions lie in the nitty-gritty evidence presented at the trials where his office won convictions against the state’s two top legislators, theTimes writes:  *  Bharara declines to say if Cuomo is target of corruption probe (NYP)



"The Culture of Corruption Is Systemic, Deep and Matter-Of-Fact With Barely A Thought" Bharara
Mr. Bharara noted the trial of Mr. Silver, in particular, showed how longstanding his ethical lapses and crimes had been, dating back 15 years, and how some lawmakers in Albany allowed them to continue. “The corruption in the State Legislature in Albany has not been episodic,” Mr. Bharara said. “It’s been systemic, and if nothing else, the trials revealed that there’s a deep culture problem, and a matter-of-factness about how at least these two defendants, who’ve now been found guilty, went about their daily corrupt business with barely a thought about it.” *  Preet Bharara Remains Grim About Albany (WSJ) Despite Silver and Skelos convictions, there’s still ‘a deep problem of corruption’ in capital, he tells WNYC audience

Bharara Said His Investigation of Albany Continuing Mr. Bharara, whose office has won the convictions of about a dozen current and former state legislators in his six-year tenure, said his public corruption investigations were continuing, but he would not discuss them.  He also declined to discuss what kind of sentence his office would seek for the two former lawmakers, who forfeited their seats upon conviction.*  .@PreetBharara on @BrianLehrer: I'm not saying every state legislator is bad. But there's serious problems w the way Albany business is done * .@PreetBharara calls this a moment to reflect, but clarifies he does not think all lawmakers in Albany are corrupt @BrianLehrer * It would be harder to disguise kickbacks and bribes as referral fees if outside income was limited or banned, @PreetBharara says. * Bharara: Just imagine if the U.S. Senate majority leader and the speaker of the House were convicted within 13 days of each other. * Bharara: "It's a lot harder to disguise a bribe or a kickback as a referral" if you don't have the outside income.* : “The evidence was overwhelming” in Skelos, Silver cases  * .@PreetBharara says @anthonyweiner "doesn't know the law." Weiner criticized Bharara for "putting the system on trial" on @InsideCityHall *Bharara on corruption cases: "The law hasn't changed... It wasn't like the prosecutors went in there and changed the law." * Preet Bharara on Anthony Weiner's criticism of the Shelly Silver case: "I don't know that he knows the law." * More whispering & whining in the press than action by some legislators, @PreetBharara tells @BrianLehrer * @PreetBharara says people should worry less about what's coming and more about what's already happened. Says the man who said "stay tuned" * Bharara says there has been too much "whispered whining" from politicians the last few weeks. * Preet, on legislators: “There has been a little more whispered whining … then focus on how to solve the problem.”* * U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said the convictions of the two former state legislative leaders over a 13-day span should result in widespread reforms at the state Capitol and that his office still has “lots of investigations open,” Gannett Albany writes:



The Jury Rejected Both Silver and Skelos Lawyers Argument That the Corruption Was Legal, Normal the Way the Founding Fathers Wanted It to Function  
Mr. Bharara, in the interview, also recalled another moment in the trials, when Mr. Silver’s defense lawyer, Steven F. Molo, accused prosecutors of effectively criminalizing conduct that was legal, normal and that allowed “government to function consistent with the way that our founding fathers of the State of New York wanted it to function.  Mr. Bharara cited the strong response made by one of his prosecutors, Andrew D. Goldstein, who told the jury that such an argument tainted the democratic process by calling corruption “politics as usual.  The juries “rejected that sorry excuse twice,” Mr. Bharara said.






Expect New Twitter Preet Bharara To Say After the Jury Decision  
It is Up to the Media and the Public to Change the Culture of Corruption in Albany
Dorego arranged the payment and the job after "incessant" requests from the senator that he help his son financially, the prosecutor said. Glenwood had crucial tax legislation pending before the legislature at the time. "This $20,000 was an illegal payoff. It was an extortion, a bribe and a kickback all wrapped up in one," Mukhi said.   Skelos then "abused his office" by using his power to help AbTech - an Arizona company - get payments from Nassau County and meetings with the state, Mukhi said.    The other exec was PRI CEO Anthony Bonomo, a longtime Skelos pal who referred court reporting work to Adam Skelos's wife at the senator's request. But "no matter how much he did, it wasn't enough," Mukhi said.  After "a blizzard of requests" for more financial help for his son, Bonomo, whose insurance business is reliant on recurring state legislation, offered Adam a $78,000 a year job that he rarely showed up to.



How many prosecutions will it take before Albany gives the people of New York the honest government they deserve? @SDNYnews




The Winds of Preet Major Statement Expected On NY Corruption
Preet Tweets A Message Stay Tuned
As alleged, this is my official Twitter account. And this, allegedly, is my first tweet. Stay tuned. . .
Preet Tweets (YNN)  U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara, the federal prosecutor who has won convictions and indictments of top state lawmakers, officially joined Twitter this week. And on Thursday, when Gov. Andrew Cuomo was wrapping up his remarks at an event in which the state doled out $2 billion in economic development funds, Bharara chose that moment to post his first tweet.  And, true to form, it alluded to make things to come from an office that won the conviction of former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and is in the middle of the corruption trial of Dean Skelos, the former majority leader of the Senate. Bharara was reportedly investigating the circumstances surrounding contracting of another major economic development program from the Cuomo administration: the “Buffalo Billion” investment in western New York. At the Same Time State officials announced the Southern Tier, the Finger Lakes and Central New York will each receive $500 million in economic development subsidies over the next five years as part of the “Upstate Hunger Games,” Politico New Yorkreports: * US Attorney Preet Bharara poked fun with his first tweet, which came in the middle of Cuomo’s economic development speech. “As alleged, this is my official Twitter account,” he wrote. “And this, allegedly, is my first tweet. Stay tuned…” The final sentence was a joshing reprise of the line he used to close the January news conference after the arrest of then-Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver.
Liz Benjamin ‏@CTLizB 
Wait, in the middle of @nygovcuomo's presentation, did @PreetBharara just tweet his first ever tweet???













NYT and NY1 Leading From Behind Tell Us What We Already Know About the Power of Corrupt Glenwood Reality 
Albany Trials Exposed the Power of a Real Estate Firm (NYT) A key player in two recent corruption cases never appeared in court: Leonard Litwin, the 101-year-old owner of Glenwood Management, an influential developer of luxury high-rise apartment buildings in Manhattan.  a key player in both cases — and identified by the government as a co-conspirator at the trial of Mr. Skelos, the former Republican majority leader of the State Senate, and his son, Adam — never appeared in the courtroom. That man was Leonard Litwin, the 101-year-old owner of Glenwood Management, an influential developer of luxury high-rise apartment buildings in Manhattan that is among the state’s most prodigious political donors. Prosecutors named Glenwood Management owner Leonard Litwin a co-conspirator in the federal corruption case of ex-state Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos and his son, which elicited testimony from an executive at the firm

Prosecutors named Mr. Litwin as a co-conspirator during a sidebar conference with the judge and defense lawyers that went largely unnoticed. In addition to its role at the heart of the government’s case against the Skeloses, both of whom were convicted of bribery, extortion and conspiracy this month, Glenwood also figured prominently in the federal corruption trial of Sheldon Silver, The name of Mr. Litwin was just one example of the way the two corruption trials revealed how entwined the interests of Glenwood and other developers are with the business of the state. Testimony, documents, emails and other evidence provided the most detailed look to date at the ways in which Glenwood and others deftly worked the levers of power to marshal tens of millions of dollars in campaign contributions through a maze of limited-liability companies, trade associations and political groups, with Senator Skelos himself soliciting and directing the money at times.
NY Times Failed Kingdom 


In NYT's 10,000 Word Story On Corrupt Glenwood RE Not One Mention of U.S. Attorney Bharara
Glenwood’s entanglement in the Skelos case was so pronounced that a senior executive with the company, Charles C. Dorego, testified under a non-prosecution agreement. Testimony and company records presented at trial showed Glenwood had sought and received favored treatment in Albany by spending more than $10 million on campaign donations since 2005 alone. Few pockets were spared: Glenwood’s largess was documented in a 54-page printout admitted as evidence that covered the developer’s political contributions over the last 10 years, funneled through 26 different limited liability companies. The money, according to Mr. Dorego, Glenwood’s senior vice president and general counsel, was used to ensure the developer would continue to benefit from tax breaks, government financing and favorable rent laws. One program alone saved them as much as $100 million, he said.

NYT Last To Realize Three Men In A Room Has Ruled Albany For Decades
Taken together, the two trials also brought into sharp relief a view of the broader Albany landscape, where critics say a thin veil of representative democracy had obscured the unchallenged exercise of power by the state capital’s ruling triumvirate: Mr. Skelos and Mr. Silver, until their arrests earlier this year, and Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, a Democrat.By naming Mr. Litwin as a co-conspirator, prosecutors were able to elicit testimony from Mr. Dorego in which he described conversations with Mr. Litwin, and for the jury to consider those conversations as evidence and not hearsay, which is inadmissible. The government often names co-conspirators in complex cases whom they believe have aided defendants but whom, for various reasons, it has chosen not to prosecute. In addition to not testifying, Mr. Litwin was not charged.

The Only Reason Albany Renews 421-a Every Two Years or So is to Milk the Real Estate Contributions
Both the Skelos and Silver trials underscored Glenwood’s philosophy that its generous political support was a minor cost of doing business. Mr. Dorego told the jury the company reaped an estimated $50 million to $100 million in savings over an unspecified period from one state program alone, a real estate tax-abatement law called 421-a. The State Legislature must renew the law periodically through a process essentially controlled by the two legislative leaders and the governor.









Keeping the Senate in Control of the GOP Was Needed By Glenwood RE to Keep Making Millions With the 421-a Tax Break Program
Mr. Dorego testified that the law’s continued renewal was an “absolute necessity” for Glenwood. Without it, he said, the cost of city real estate taxes — the largest component of a luxury high-rise’s operating budget — would make building such towers unfeasible, in part because lenders would not finance them.  For that reason, Mr. Dorego told the jury, keeping the State Senate in the control of Republicans — who, in his words, “were more business-oriented and had more of an interest in making sure business thrived in the city” — was “the No. 1 priority” for Glenwood’s political strategy and “Mr. Litwin’s No. 1 concern.”


The NYT Covers-Up The Fact That Lobbyists Runes and Meara Were At the Center of Silver and Skelos's Corruption
In one email, Glenwood’s chief political strategist, Richard Runes, who testified at Mr. Silver’s trial, wrote to a lobbyist for Glenwood, “Please send me the list of senators Dean asked us yesterday to help before the next filing date.” The lobbyist wrote back with the names of seven candidates and the amounts to be donated, totaling $92,300. The names were forwarded to Mr. Dorego












The Media Ha Not Done One Story That Bharara Went After Silver and Skelos Shut Down Moreland
One of Cuomo’s bold moves was creating another Moreland Commission designed to weed out all aspects of wrong doing. That grandiose plan faded within months, when the governor suddenly decided to shut down the panel. As a result, Preet Bharara, the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, had sufficient grounds to probe into that decision too. Some critics on Capitol Hill are still convinced that the governor may have felt intimidated by what direction the commission seemed to pursue. Was the investigation perhaps moving too close to the Governor’s Office?  Not surprisingly, some in Albany, especially reform advocates, were calling for a special legislative session focusing on ethics and changes required to restore the public confidence in government. Cuomo, never keen on calling back the lawmakers for that reason, said he could not legislate morality or intelligence and that his administration had already proposed every ethics law imaginable.* Asked about Moreland commiss in light of Silver, Skelos convictions, @NYGovCuomo says, "It was a temporary process. ... It did its job."



Media and Good Govt Groups Cover Up How Lobbyists Were at the Center Of Corruption In Both Silver and Skelos Convictions
Lobbyist Cites Unease Over Payments to Sheldon Silver (NYT) The meeting at the State Capitol in Albany took place nearly four years ago, but Richard Runes, a lobbyist who oversees government relations for Glenwood Management, a major real estate developer in New York, recalled his unease at what he had discussed with Sheldon Silver, then the speaker of the Assembly. The two men had spoken about an agreement between Mr. Silver and Glenwood, in which Mr. Silver received undisclosed payments from a law firm to which Mr. Silver had allegedly pushed Glenwood to refer some of its tax business. Mr. Runes, testifying on Monday in Mr. Silver’s federal corruption trial in Manhattan, said he felt “shock and surprise” at the news of the payments. Mr. Runes’s testimony, which began on Friday, is part of the second prong of the government’s case, in which prosecutors say Mr. Silver received about $700,000 in illegal payments from the law firm Goldberg & Iryami in return for having referred it certain tax business from Glenwood and a second developer, the Witkoff Group.

For Months True News Has Been Reporting the Interlocking-Directorates of the Corrupt Shadow Govt That Controls NY
On Friday, another Glenwood lobbyist, Brian Meara, testified that while vacationing in Florida in 2011, he received a call from Mr. Silver, who mentioned how he might need to file new forms disclosing certain fees he had received. Mr. Meara said he was “surprised and concerned” and called either Mr. Runes or Charles C. Dorego, a Glenwood executive. Mr. Runes testified that he spoke with Glenwood’s owner, Leonard Litwin, and Mr. Dorego. Yet Mr. Runes said he remained “uncomfortable with the arrangement,” and did not discuss it with anyone else. “It was too hot,” he said.  Ultimately, Mr. Silver’s fee-sharing arrangement was described in a side letter that the speaker signed, but it was omitted from the retainer agreement between Glenwood and the law firm. Mr. Runes, asked by the judge, Valerie E. Caproni, what he thought was being accomplished by putting the agreement in a separate letter, said he believed that retainer documents were filed publicly, “whereas the side letter would not be.” * Albany lobbyist Richard Rune said he felt uneasy over payments to then-Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver for referring tax business to a firm and for outlining related terms outside of the main retainerThe New York Times reports: 




Cuomo vs de Blasio is Now All About the 2016 Fight for Control of the State Senate
With the state Board of Elections deadlocked on a decision to close the LLC loophole, the issue will probably be taken up in the state Legislature, where state Senate Republicans and big money will do everything they can to buy the outcome, theTime Union writes:  * As the battle for control of the state Senate heats up, the chamber’s Democrats have filed a formal complaint over a $1 million contribution to the Republicans from their former leader Joseph Bruno, the Daily News’reports:  * As the battle for control of the state Senate heats up, the chamber’s Democrats have fileda formal complaint with the state Board of Elections over a $1 million contribution to the Republicans from their former leader, ex-Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno.








Feds Have Discovered that Political Corruption in NY Made Up of Interconnected Families Like the Mobs Organized Crime Commission
The probe into Silver’s office also turned up incriminating material about former state Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos, who also now also faces corruption raps in Manhattan federal court. The prosecutors sent a grand-jury subpoena to the Glenwood real-estate companyuin May 2014 as part of their probe into kickbacks pocketed by Silver, according to the Manhattan federal court papers filed earlier this month. “As part of the document requests, the Silver [Glenwood] subpoena asked for all documents concerning political contributions to state officials or parties​​, and concerning the New York State Legislature,” the court papers stated. During public portions of Friday’s 2¹/-hour hearing, Caproni ruled against Silver and said that multiple pieces of potentially incriminating evidence could be shown to the jury at trial. The Lower East Side assemblyman’s attorneys had tried to keep from jurors certain pieces of evidence, including his allegedly incomplete financial-disclosure forms and his attempts to halt construction of a methadone clinic in an alleged quid pro quo with a real-estate developer.

On Eve of Silver Trial Only Newsday Is Only Paper Took Bharara Advice to Investigate Corruption
Newsday Report Thrown Out of Public Building Asking for Public Records About  Long Island restaurateur Harendra Singh At the Center of the Skelos Corruption Trial
Newsday reporter seeking Oyster Bay public records escorted out by cop (Newsday) Oyster Bay Town Hall in 2014. Newsday reporter Ted Phillips was escorted out of Oyster Bay Town offices on Friday, Oct. 30, 2015, while seeking public records concerning town zoning board meetings. (Credit: Danielle Finkelstein) A Nassau County police officer escorted a Newsday reporter out of Oyster Bay Town offices Monday after the reporter requested records from the town's zoning board of appeals. The police officer told reporter Ted Phillips that he was responding to a call about a "disturbance" and led Phillips out of the building. No charges were filed against Phillips. The records the reporter requested are meeting minutes, available to the public, concerning appeals to the town's zoning board for variances from town code. Oyster Bay spokesman Brian Devine emailed a statement that said police were called "because the reporter conducted himself in a disorderly and disruptive manner. This was not the first time that he has engaged in such inappropriate and unprofessional behavior." Oyster Bay Town has been at the center of a controversy regarding the town's relationship with Long Island restaurateur Harendra Singh. Last month, federal authorities indicted Singh on charges that included bribing a then-Oyster Bay employee in exchange for the town's guarantee of $20 million in loans for two businesses that provide food concessions. Singh has pleaded not guilty.  "I was in the ZBA office for about three minutes," Phillips said. "I was firm about the law, but the conversation was cordial." As the town employee led Phillips to the offices of Commissioner of Planning and Development Frederick Ippolito and his deputy, Diana Aquiar, two town public safety officers asked the ZBA supervisor whom they had been called about. She said she didn't know, and she and Phillips entered the waiting room for Ippolito's office, Phillips said. Aquiar then came out and told Phillips that public safety officers would be "showing you out," according to Phillips' audio recording of the conversation. When Phillips responded that he had a legal right to look at the minutes, Aquiar said, "Well, they're not going to waste their time right now putting that together for you."


True News Wags the Daily News to Show Outrage Against Silver,  But Paper Still Not Investigating and Connect More Corruption Dots
Sheldon Silver'scrimes against New York (NYDN Ed) Federal prosecutors appear poised to give New Yorkers a civics lesson in how their state government has really been working. Silver rigged financial disclosure rules so as to hide the sources of his income, thus facilitating a hidden flow of money while brazenly claiming that he was living up to the letter of the law. He controlled internal Assembly ethics investigations, and perverted outside probes by maintaining secret sway over supposed watchdogs. And he perfected one-person rule of the Assembly so that he could decide which bills passed and on what terms




The governor’s creation of the anti-corruption panel in 2013, known as the Moreland Commission, brought high hopes; it began to uncover what many of its members believed were the institutional problems forming the bedrock of Albany’s troubled culture.  Among them were two broad issues that are expected to figure prominently in both trials: ineffectual campaign finance laws that give moneyed interests — especially large real estate developers — outsize influence; and lax financial disclosure rules that allow corrupt lawmakers to list part-time jobs or consulting work to mask political payoffs. Often, this work is listed at law firms that represent clients with business before the state. These laws and rules, largely written by the lawmakers themselves, are seldom enforced. The cases against Mr. Silver and Mr. Skelos, who remain in office but who relinquished their leadership positions after their arrests, were among several investigations that either grew out of or were spurred by the work of the Moreland Commission, which Mr. Cuomo abruptly shuttered in March 2014, outraging good-government groups. He closed it in a deal to pass modest ethics reforms that year, but the move led Mr. Bharara’s office to examine the shutdown and the governor’s role in it. The status of that investigation is unclear.


Insiders are Are Saying It is A Miracle 
That Developers Who Paid the Bribe, Lobbyists Who Arranged the Deal and Law Firms That Made Money Where Not Charged
“As the U.S. attorney has clearly outlined, Weitz & Luxenberg had no knowledge of the alleged scheme described by prosecutors,” a spokeswoman for the firm said. Both Litwin Glenwood's Charles Dorego and Glenwood's Lobbyist and Silver Pal Brian Meara were not charged with a crime in exchange for become a federal rat.* Last Week • As Assemblyman Silver and Skelos head to trial, lawmakers, lobbyists, aides and others involved in state politics are bracing For A Proctology Exam of  Albany’s culture and Corruption



For Some Reason the NYT Does Not Give the Name of the Govt Witnesses  Litwin Glenwood's Charles Dorego and Glenwood's Lobbyist and Silver Pal Brian Meara
"Prosecutors in the case against Mr. Skelos have contended that the developer funneled a $20,000 payment to the senator’s son and helped him get work as a consultant at an environmental technology company, a field in which he had no experience. They are expected to present evidence, including testimony from a Glenwood executive and a lobbyist for the company, that the senator pressured the developer to help his son and the developer did so because of concerns that Senator Skelos would take action to hurt the company. Two lobbyists for Glenwood are expected to testify at Mr. Silver’s trial.


The prosecutors have also alleged that Mr. Silver used his official position to get Glenwood to send its tax certiorari business to a small Manhattan law firm headed by a lawyer who served as Mr. Silver’s counsel decades ago. That firm then paid Mr. Silver hundreds of thousands of dollars in what prosecutors have called kickbacks. Outside income earned by legislators is another area that will figure prominently in the trials, and the cases could have far-reaching consequences if one or both of the men are convicted."







True News Wags the NYP On the On the Only Man Reforming Albany BHARARA
"Sorry..there’s only one truly effective weapon against Albany’s culture of corruption&his name is Preet Bharara." 

New teeth for New York’s ethics watchmouse (NYP Ed) Good-government groups hail it as a major step forward, but the reforms offered in a 307-page report on the state’s ethics “watchdog” amount to little more than lipstick on a pig. They’re fine — as far as they go. But they don’t come close to addressing the core reason the Joint Commission on Public Ethics has become a joke. Simply put, JCOPE has no real independence. Its members are appointed by the very people it’s supposed to investigate — Gov. Cuomo and the Legislature. Even the folks on the “reform” panel were chosen by those very same people — including a governor who doesn’t hesitate to insert his heavy hand on investigative bodies like the late Moreland Commission. Consider: JCOPE’s first executive director, Ellen Biben, had been Cuomo’s inspector general and earlier a special deputy when he was attorney general. Replacing her was Letizia Tagliafierro, another ex-Cuomo aide — who on the eve of her own exit last summer hired three former Cuomo staffers to top posts without the commissioners’ OK. One of the three now wants to be the next executive director. The reform ideas aim to fix some of JCOPE’s inherent weaknesses — like the fact that a minority of members can block investigations of a political ally, and its secretive, closed-door mentality. But they’re only recommendations — and some can’t go through unless the Legislature agrees. Good luck there. Sorry: As things stand these days, there’s only one truly effective weapon against Albany’s culture of corruption — and his name is Preet Bharara.* Cox: Bharara ‘Right On Target’ (YNN)

True News Last Week
Why Are Good Govt Groups Ignoring That It Is A Prosecutor That Is Reforming Albany?

JCOPE = JJOKE
For example, most pols get to keep their state pensions even if they’re convicted. Fixing that requires amending the state Constitution — and the Assembly somehow keeps failing to fulfill its promise to get that ball rolling. Some insist that most lawmakers are clean. If so, they’re awfully blind to the shenanigans of the “few bad apples.” In fact, any truly honest politician has an obvious way to help clean up Albany: Just volunteer to wear a wire for Preet.* Jury selection is underway in Sheldon Silver's corruptiontrial (YNN)  *  The high-profile corruption scandals of Skelos and Silver have put unlikely state legislative races in play this year.*  NY’s Corruption Report Card: “D-“ (YNN) * According to a new report from the Center for Public Integrity, New York’s state government is “beset” by corruption and earns a “D-” when it comes to its public integrity index and ranked in a tie for 30th place, State of Politicsreports: 

Albany Kills Moreland Bharara's Brings It Back to Life
The governor’s creation of the anti-corruption panel in 2013, known as the Moreland Commission, brought high hopes; it began to uncover what many of its members believed were the institutional problems forming the bedrock of Albany’s troubled culture.  Among them were two broad issues that are expected to figure prominently in both trials: ineffectual campaign finance laws that give moneyed interests — especially large real estate developers — outsize influence; and lax financial disclosure rules that allow corrupt lawmakers to list part-time jobs or consulting work to mask political payoffs. * New York magazine’s Chris Smith does a deep dive into the demise of the governor’s corruption-busting Moreland Commission.


Killing Moreland Revenge
How Cuomo Bid to Clean Up Albany Backfired (NYM) * Often, this work is listed at law firms that represent clients with business before the state. These laws and rules, largely written by the lawmakers themselves, are seldom enforced. The cases against Mr. Silver and Mr. Skelos, who remain in office but who relinquished their leadership positions after their arrests, were among several investigations that either grew out of or were spurred by the work of the Moreland Commission, which Mr. Cuomo abruptly shuttered in March 2014, outraging good-government groups. He closed it in a deal to pass modest ethics reforms that year, but the move led Mr. Bharara’s office to examine the shutdown and the governor’s role in it. The status of that investigation is unclear.
Moreland Investigation Ends, Media Cover-Up 


NY Your About to Get Schooled On Albany's Corruption Culture of Kickbacks and Bribes 

Ex-N.Y. legislative leaders facing U.S. corruptiontrials  (Reuters) Former New York State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, long one of the state's most powerful lawmakers, goes on trial this week on charges that he used his office to collect millions of dollars in kickbacks and bribes.  Dean Skelos, former Senate majority leader, faces his own criminal trial on Nov. 16. He is charged with taking official actions on behalf of several companies in exchange for payments to his son.  U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara has cast the allegations as symptomatic of a "show-me-the-money culture" that had transformed New York's statehouse into "one of the most corrupt governments in the nation."


A New Apalachin Deal to Divide the Look Exposed Inside Albany - Bipartisan Gangs  
Bipartisan Corruption: Silver, Skelos Head to Court in Coming Weeks


















TNPM  Jury selection underway in Sheldon Silver corruption trial  *   7 questions about the trial of Sheldon Silver,starting with, Who is Sheldon Silver? ***
On the eve of the Sheldon Silver trial, here's video of theBharara presser on the day the Capitol stood still:  *  Monday In Two CorruptionCases, the Culture of AlbanyWill Go on Trial (NYT) * Albanyon trial: Shelly Silver's trial starts Monday; Dean Skelos' two weeks later. (loHud)*
Sheldon Silver's high-stakes corruption trial startssoon. It will, in a word, be a show (Newsday) * Jury selection begins today in the trial of former stateassembly speaker (NY1) * Sheldon Silver and Dean Skelos cases appear in culturalcontrast: The U.S. government's separate corruption cases…  * Federal trial of ex-Speaker Sheldon Silver starts today Trial of ex-Majority Leader Dean Skelos on deck (TU) * If Silver is convicted, he will have to vacate hisAssembly seat, months after he resigned the speakership: (YNN) *  New York Magazine writes that the real drama instate Sen. Dean Skelos’ and Assemblyman Sheldon Silver’s upcoming corruption trials will occur “off in the wings” between the governor and U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara: * New York Magazine writes that the real drama in state Sen. Dean Skelos’ and Assemblyman Sheldon Silver’s upcoming corruption trials will occur “off in the wings” between the governor and U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara: 


Book 'Em Bharara
New Yorkers want Preet Bharara to keep fighting corruption: poll (NYP) A Quinnipiac University poll found that 41 percent of voters believe Bharara hasn’t gone far enough in investigating corruption in state government. Another 29 percent said he’s handled corruption “about right” A majority of voters — 56 percent — agreed with the statement that “all current elected officials should be voted out of office so new officials can start with a clean slate.” *  An endless flood of corrupt New York lawmakers (NYP) On Monday, former Assemblyman William Scarborough (D-Queens) received concurrent 13-month sentences for swindling nearly $54,000 from taxpayers via phony travel vouchers and siphoning $38,000 more from his campaign fund. On Thursday, ex-Assemblyman William Boyland (D-Brooklyn) got hit far harder: a14-year stretch in the federal pen for multiple counts of extortion and bribe-taking. Yet Boyland still caught a break: His 14-year term is well below the 20-year stretch recommended both by prosecutors and federal sentencing guidelines. New York’s now nearing three dozen state legislators recently convicted or awaiting trial for corruption — with no end in sight. Corruption-busting US Attorney Preet Bharara has said prosecutors alone can’t end political venality. But they’ll have to do for now.


. Albany is in Prosecutorial Receivership - of AG Lynch and US Attorney Bharara
Fighting Corruption in Albany, One Lawmaker at a Time (NYT)  Corruption is so deeply rooted in the culture of New York that it obviously takes an outsider to make a difference.  That role has, once again, fallen to Preet BhararaUnited States Attorney for New York’s Southern District. While state lawmakers this year did little more than tinker with ethics reform, Mr. Bharara has investigated, arrested and now convicted an astonishing lineup of key Albany players.  On Wednesday, he added State Senator Thomas Libous, a powerful upstate Republican, to his list. Mr. Libous was found guilty of lying to F.B.I. agents about trying to get a job for his son.* Fundraising among Albany politicians has hit a 12-year low, with lawmakers raising less in the first half of 2015 since 2003. * Patronage claims are a common thread in the latest series of corruption cases to involve state lawmakers.New York State politicians raised less money in the first half of 2015 than in any year since 2003 during a session that included federal indictments against the Legislature's top two leaders, Capital New York writes:  Writing for the Observer, a public relations specialistwho works for the taxi industry gives the insiders perspective on why yellow cabs and de Blasio are losing the battle against Uber and the e-hail industry: * The feud between Cuomo and de Blasio remains heated as last week opened a new front for their bickering—funding for the city's buses and subways, with insiders saying there is no end in sight to the fighting, Capital New York writes: *  Senate Minority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins shares Cuomo’s trepidation about a special legislative session to address ethics reform.* Even after two state senators were convicted of lying to the F.B.I., Cuomo said there's no need to call a special session of the state Legislature to address ethics reform, Capital New York writes: * Cuomo: Special Session For Ethics Won’t Do Anything (YNN)* Cuomo scoffed at calls for a special session on ethics, saying it would be costly and pointless to try to force lawmakers to clean up their act even though two more are guilty in federal corruption cases.



NYT Reports on the Crowds At Belmont Not the NYRA Boss That Connects to the Heart of Corruption In Albany  
For the New York Racing Association and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, this year’s Belmont Stakes proved a success after contending with crowds, insufficient food supplies and train delays last year, The New York Times reports: 




Bharara Trying to Repair New York's Broken Democracy While Silver Lawyers and the Media Tried and Failed to Stop Him

Preet Coyote Blows Up Wolfs
ProsecutorDenies Creating a ‘Media Firestorm’ Over Sheldon Silver’s Arrest (NYT) * Preet Bharara DefendsHis Public Appearances at Zephyr Teachout Forum (NYO) Mr. Bharara told the filled room at the law school’s Lincoln Center campus that his public denunciations of Albany’s “culture of corruption” are intended to raise awareness of the ethics dilemmas facing the state government, to deter potential bad actors and to encourage well-intentioned public officials to push back against the problem.“Part of your job as a law enforcement official, whether you’re a prosecutor, or the Attorney General, or the FBI director, is to help prevent crime and deter crime.” * “It’s not enough to simply make sure we’re getting rid of the bad folks,” the US attorney said. “We want to make sure we are empowering, or sometimes embarrassing, good folks at any institution that exists to do something when they see something.”







Bharara Puts the Pay to Play Culture of Corruption Government On Trial
Preet Bharara focuses on political favors in New Yorkstate government probe (csmonitor.com)  With a widening probe of New York state government, U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara appears to be taking aim at the nebulous relationship between money and politics itself — a long and murky association in Albany and in capitals across the nation. To politicians who grouse that Bharara is attempting to indict the political system itself, the latest probe appears to be an effort to criminalize what is essentially business as usual — something that has proven difficult for prosecutors before.  "Corporations don't spend tens of millions of dollars as a matter of good citizenship," he said. "The system is funded by investors and investors inevitably expect a return, regardless of whether actual laws are broken or not." A report from an anti-corruption commission Cuomo himself created in 2013 and then shut down the next year identified "eyebrow-raising patterns of potential misconduct" based on a review of campaign contributions to elected officials from donors with interests in legislative outcomes. * U.S.attorney believed to be investigating Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s deal (Daily Freeman)
A former high-ranking Suffolk County Board of Elections employee’s time-sheet and personnel records have been subpoenaed by the FBI, county sources said.
Bharara blasted for Libous prosecution:  * Howard Zemsky, a Buffalo businessman who runs the state’s Empire State Development Corp., maintained the Cuomo administration’s no-comment policy after repeated questions surrounding a federal probe of the Buffalo Billion program, the Buffalo News reports: * Howard Zemsky, the leader of New York’s economic development agency, maintained the Cuomo administration’s no-comment policy with regards to questions surrounding a probe by federal prosecutors of the Buffalo Billion program – other than to say the agency is cooperating fully.* ESDC's Zemsky toed the Cuomo admin line, declined to commenton US Attorney Bharara's Buffalo Billion probe.  *Cuomo has put up $750 million for the SolarCity project in Buffalo – the biggest economic development effort he has undertaken in his five years as governor – a project that isn’t without risk, and not the first time he has bet on a high-risk company as part of an economic development push. *  Right From the Reporter: Buffalo Billion

SolarCity's Buffalo Billion Fed Investigation Target Stocks Crash Mayday!
SolarCity: Mayday! Mayday! (Investigative Post) For starters, the company disclosed it posted a net loss of $234 million in the third quarter. That’s the biggest quarterly loss in the history of the company and brings the year-to-date losses to a staggering $537 million. That puts SolarCity on track to lose more than $700 million for 2015, compared with net losses of $375 million in 2014, $152 million in 2013 and $92 million in 2012.
See a pattern there? SolarCity stock prices also took a nasty tumble Thursday, prompting Business Insider to declare “SolarCity is getting nuked.” The bad news on earnings drove the company’s stock down to $31.15 in after-hours trading. A day earlier, the stock closed at $38.34. That’s down from a peak of $84.96 in February 2014. The stock price is continuing to drop today.* More bad news for SolarCity – and the governor’s investment in the company’s Western New York project.


New FBI Tapes of Albany Pols and Their Lobbyists
New Targets for Bharara Stay Tuned
Sheldon Silver Probe Prompts Wiretaps on New Targets,Sources Say (DNAINFO) Federal investigators have begun wiretapping a new set of potential targets as a result of the probe that led to the indictment off former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, DNAinfo has learned. Investigators in the U.S. Attorney's office and the FBI obtained court authorization to eavesdrop on an ever-expanding group of possible corrupt government officials and those who do business with them, including lawyers, lobbyists and contractors, sources said. The targets came to light during the two-year investigation of the powerful state Assembly leader — during which federal corruption fighters found “numerous new tentacles” to pursue, sources said.  Federal authorities were "already listening to numerous people in various places" on unrelated investigations before looking into Silver, and his "case provided a bunch of new places to wiretap,” a law enforcement source told "On The Inside."  The revelation that there is a new wave of federal eavesdropping from the speaker’s probe is certain to rattle an already-anxious Albany, where dozens of lawmakers have been convicted on corruption charges, many of them secretly caught on tape. In recent years, secret recordings and wiretaps have helped nail lawmakers on corruption-related charges including state Sen. Malcolm Smith, Councilman Daniel Halloran, Assemblyman Eric Stevenson and Assemblyman Nelson Castro. “Stay tuned,” Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara warned state legislators after announcing Silver’s indictment in February. * Federal investigators reportedly have begun wiretapping a new set of potential targets as a result of the probe that led to the indictment off former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver.




 Feds Investigation Cuomo Connection 

Andrew Cuomo’s Administration Involved in Federal CorruptionProbe of Real Estate Industry(IBT)  The New York State Housing Finance Agency, whose chair is appointed by the governor,rejected an IBTimes FOIL request because it is “cooperating” with a federal prosecutor’s probe of state lawmakers’ relationship with campaign donors in the real estate industry. * The Cuomo administration cited its cooperation with a federal probe in blocking the release of documents about transactions between the state and the governor’s top donor, the International Business Times Reports:


Sen. Dean Skelos and his son pleaded not guilty tocorruption charges (Newsday) Feds tapped Dean Skelos’ phone for months (NYP) The feds tapped state Sen. Dean Skelos’ cell phone for two-and-a-half months before busting him and his son in an alleged pay-to-play scheme, prosecutors revealed at the pair’s arraignment Monday — and the news is sure to make at least some Albany lawmakers squirm. “There were four months of wiretaps on the primary cellphone of Adam Skelos,” said Assistant US Attorney Rahul Muki, adding that investigators also tapped another of the boneheaded son’s phones for one month and that the tap on his dad’s phone ran for two-and-a-half months. 

Mukhi said prosecutors will turn over “millions of pages” of discovery to defense lawyers – mostly e-mails – as well as 2,400 recorded audio files and additional text messages. * * Former Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos and his son Adam Skelos pleaded not guilty to a six-count federal indictment, setting up a trial that may not come until next year due to volume of evidence, State of Politics reports:  * Federal prosecutors revealed they were tapping Sen. Dean Skelos’ cellphone for two and a half months before he was charged with using his office to score his son, Adam, cushy jobs. * Skelos, Son Plead Not Guilty to Corruption Charges(NY1)  * A top donor to the political action committee run by Buffalo political operative Steve Pigeon is a Seneca Nation businessman who took a corporate guilty plea to felony crimes in Missouri last year, TheBuffalo News reports  The Buffalo News writes that the raid of political operatives’ homes by the state attorney general’s office, even if the men are innocent, shows an interest in enforcing election law that is long overdue: *Two months after his appointment by Cuomo as chairman of NYRA’s board of directors, a medical malpractice insurance magnate, Anthony Bonomo, has become entangled in the criminal case involving the former Republican leader of the state Senate. Neither Bonomo nor his firm have been charged with wrongdoing. * The feds tapped state Sen. Dean Skelos’ cellphone for more than two months before busting him and his son, Adam, in a pay-to-play scheme. Both pleaded not guilty yesterday. * All told, federal investigators intercepted 2,400 audio files — and an unspecified amount of text messages — in the Skelos case that will be turned over to the defense in advance of the trial. Given the volume of evidence, it’s possible there won’t be a trial until next year, though the judge didn’t seem happy about that. * One of the top donors to the political action committee run by Steve Pigeon is a Seneca Nation businessman who took a corporate guilty plea to felony crimes in Missouri last year. Aaron Pierce admitted that one of his companies illegally bought and sold contraband cigarettes and agreed to pay $1 million in fines, forfeitures and judgements. * * The Seneca Nation of Indians, which operates three casinos, severed ties with Steve Pigeon’s lobbying firm after state and federal authorities raided his home last week, Gannett Albany reports:   * Seneca Nation Backs Away From Pigeon (YNN) * PREET BHARARA: NEW YORK’S HONEY BADGER *An AbTech official will remain as chair of the Waterkeeper board despite the firm’s involvement in Sen. Dean Skelos’ federal corruption scandal, according to the environmental organization’s founder, RFK Jr. *  The Seneca Nation has terminated its contract with the lobbying firm run by G. Steven Pigeon, the Erie County political operative whose fundraising activities are under investigation by several law enforcement agencies. * George Marlin:Investigate Skelos/Nassau County contract connections. * Steven Pigeon, who for years has hobnobbed with billionaires and trumpeted his own status among the elite of New York’s political donors, suddenly finds himself owing more than $244,000 to the federal government, thanks to a new tax lien filed against him by the Internal Revenue Service for more than $126,000.


More Rats 4 Bharara . . . Gets Closer to Cuomo's Circle
Preet Bharara creeps closer to Cuomo with latest indictment (NYP, Dicker)  Attorney Preet Bharara moved “a giant step closer” to Gov. Cuomo late last week with an indictment that alleges insurance exec Anthony Bonomo, a top Cuomo contributor whom the governor made chairman of the New York Racing Association, gave a lucrative no-show job to state Sen. Dean Skelos’ son, sources have told The Post. “Bonomo is Cuomo’s guy, and he wouldn’t offer anything to Skelos’ kid without first making sure it was OK with the governor or his people,’’ said a senior state Democrat.  “The fact that Bonomo, like Dorego, is cooperating with Bharara brings the whole investigation a giant step closer to Cuomo,’’ the Democrat added, referring to Charles Dorego, a top official at Cuomo megacontributor Leonard Litwin’s Glenwood Management.

 “This is a drip by drip that’s getting closer and closer to Cuomo, with Bonomo and Dorego providing prosecutors with an inside look at how the corrupt Albany system works,’’ explained a second senior state political figure. Four major political insiders now in feds' crosshairs (NYDN) Anthony Bonomo, a big time donor to Gov. Cuomo and other state politicians in both parties and who was recently named by the governor as chairman of the New York Racing Association, last week was referenced (not by name) in the indictment against now former Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos (R-Suffolk County) for allegedly giving the senator’s son a $100,000 no-show job. And Steve Pigeon, a registered lobbyist and longtime Democratic operative from western New York who has done work for Cuomo, had his home raided by state and federal investigators as part of a probe into his fundraising activities. Meanwhile, Charles Dorego, a top executive at Glenwood Management, has been cooperating with the feds in separate cases against Skelos and now former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver. Influential lobbyist Brian Meara, who has close ties to Silver, has also been cooperating in the probe against the Manhattan Democrat. * Whether a coincidence or not, the timing of AG Eric Schneiderman’s trip to push ethics reform in Buffalo today is certain to raise eyebrows in the area’s political community, which is already on edge following the ratcheting up of the probe by the state and federal investigators of G. Steven Pigeon, Steven Casey and Christopher Grant. * U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul Jr., husband of LG Kathy Hochul, has reportedly recusedhimself from an investigation into the political activities of G. Steven Pigeon, due to the potential political ramifications of the case. * Because of such little info on probes into western New York's Steve Pigeonand others, theories abound: 
Moreland Investigation Ends, Media Cover-Up 




Skelos' Son $100,000 From Medical Firm That Does State Business and Ties to New State Racing Boss
Skelos indictment points to medical malpractice firm (Capital)  The federal indictment handed up Thursday against former Senate majority leader Dean Skelos and his son, Adam, alleges Adam Skelos earned $100,000 in payments and health benefits from a no-show job at a medical malpractice insurance firm that was simultaneously lobbying the state.  Multiple sources told Capital the unnamed firm cited in the six-count indictment is likely the politically connected Physicians Reciprocal Insurers, the second-largest medical malpractice firm in the state. P.R.I., based in Nassau CountyLong Island, counts one of the state’s most prolific donors, Anthony J. Bonomo, as its C.E.O. Bonomo's brother, Carl sits on the company’s board. In April, Governor Andrew Cuomo appointed Anthony Bonomo, a former a board member, chairman of the New York Racing Association. * New racing boss has ties to Skelos corruption scheme(NYP) Anthony Bonomo, the new chairman of the New York Racing Association, is suddenly in the middle of the Dean Skelos corruption scandal. A federal indictment handed down on Thursday alleged former state Senate Majority Leader Skelos strong-armed a medical malpractice insurance firm to provide his son, Adam, with more than $100,000 in payments and health benefits through a no-show job while the firm lobbied Skelos on legislative matters. The firm was later identified as Roslyn, L.I.-based Physicians Reciprocal Insurers, which is run by Bonomo and his brother, Carl. Last month, Gov. Andrew Cuomo appointed Bonomo as chairman of NYRA.






Top Real Estate Hooker Already A Rat for the Feds
No Charges Against the Real Estate Robber Barons While Dorego Rats
Besides the payment for title work that was never performed, Mr. Dorego also arranged for a consulting job for Adam Skelos at an environmental firm in which Glenwood had investment ties, and which eventually paid him a total of $200,000, according to the complaint. Prosecutors say his father used his powerful position to help the firm win a government contract. A lawyer for Glenwood declined to comment. The federal charges against Mr. Silver include accusations that he steered Glenwood and another developer — Mr. Witkoff — to a law firm that gave Mr. Silver hundreds of thousands of dollars in fees. * Glenwood uses loopholes in the law to keep its politicaldonations anonymous





Daily News Copies True News In Feds Putting Albany Pols in Jail
Unlike True News the DN Never Connects the Failure of JCOPE, DAs and AG To Stop the Albany Crime Wave










More JCOPE Control Shades of Moreland Control Four state Joint Commission on Public Ethics commissioners said the hiring of Kevin Gagan as chief of staff is “plainly invalid” and an example of the “incessant interference” JCOPE faces as it tries to fill its watchdog role, the Times Union reports: *  SHARKNADO ALBANY Starring Attorney General Loretta Lynch and US Attorney Preet Bharara  In a letter to the editor at the Times Union, four JCOPE commissioners write that Cuomo’s midnight appointment of State Police First Deputy Superintendent Kevin Gagan is invalid and foretells more bad news for the ethics commission:" * If JCOPE’s own commissioners don’t have faith in it,it’s hard to see how the public can."A watchdog bites itself  (TU) * A growing group of legislators and government watchdogs this year have questioned the independence of the state’s Joint Commission on Public Ethics. Now some of its own commissioners are, too.

Why Are NYC's DAs Not Indicting Pols?
Insiders describe it as an inherently “political animal” that can often have trouble indicting members of the party—which in New York City is the old Democratic Party leaders and the New Privatized Lobbyists Machine —that controls who serves in the local legal system. To some extent, every Democratic district attorney has close relationships with Democratic Party leadership. With the singular exception of then-Attorney General Andrew Cuomo’s takedown of Hevesi in a pension-fund scam, virtually all the New York anti-corruption action since 2006 has been undertaken by federal prosecutors and the FBI. Local DAs remain as quiet as the proverbial church mouse. And that’s especially true of Albany County DA David Soares, who by virtue of geography and the law is particularly well-positioned to pursue corruption.  Albany Corruption
Who Watchers the Watchman, Lobbyists, Grand Jury, AG - DAs Conflict of Interests 


Saturday True News Sharknado Corrupt Albany Sunday the Daily News Quotes Bharara That Albany is Corrupt 
Tuesday Update Shooting fish in the barrel: Federal prosecutors clean house in Albany with the conviction of two morecorrupt legislators (NYDN Ed)

Albany politicians are corrupt, Manhattan U.S. Attorney says (NYDN)  Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara has said there is a “certain percentage” of politicians in Albany who are corrupt, which is underscored by the more than two dozen officials elected in the state who have been arrested or convicted since 2008.  Bharara has taken the lead among all prosecutors by turning up the heat on Albany after Gov. Cuomo shut down the Moreland Commission, which was investigating a wide range of corruption cases. Add to that rotten core state Sen. Thomas Libous (R-Binghamton), who was found guilty of lying to FBI agents, and state Sen. John Sampson (D-Brooklyn), who was convicted of obstructing a federal investigation. Libous was the No. 2 Republican in the state Senate.  His longtime boss, state Sen. Dean Skelos, was the majority leader for six years before his indictment in May on corruption charges. Sampson once headed the Democratic Conference when the party was in the majority in the Senate. Bharara’s office recently won the conviction of former state Sen. Malcolm Smith (D-Queens), a one-time Senate president who was sentenced to seven years in prison last month, and the indictment of longtime Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver (D-Manhattan), both very high on the food chain of bottom feeders in the Albany trough. Silver has since resigned his leadership post, but continues to represent the Lower East Side. * Gregory Meeks wants to delay his financial-disclosure report again (NYP) * State senator removed for #corruption, butdon't expect big #ethicschanges:  on @StateOfPolitics



Will One Man In A Room Block End of Session Pay to Play Corruption?

Senate Republicans wary of deal-making under the watchfuleye of crusading U.S.Attorney Preet Bharara (NYDN)  Some Senate Republicans are so afraid of crusading U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara that they don't want to engage in the traditional end-of-legislative session political deal making for fear of sparking more investigations. With less than a month to go before the end of the legislative session, that concern promises to gum up negotiations to extend the expiring rent regulation law and a controversial 421a tax credit for developers who provide affordable housing in new buildings, Republicans say. "You just don't give rent control for nothing," one GOP senator said. "Usually it's part of a broader deal for something we want. Several members have talked about their uneasiness and nervousness of doing anything when they don't know what this guy (Bharara) will do.   Typically during the end of session crush, Gov. Cuomo, the Senate Republicans and Assembly Democrats link many of their major priority issues in hopes of reaching compromise deals. But in the wake of the recent federal corruption arrests of Sen. Dean Skelos (R-Nassau County) and Assemblyman Sheldon Silver (D-Manhattan) - both of whom subsequently gave up their leadership posts - and with Bharara openly criticizing how Albany does business, many Senate Republicans are in no mood to take chances, two GOP senators said. One noted that much of the Republican conference received campaign contributions from influential real estate developers, including Leonard Litwin, who has been linked to the cases Bharara brought against Skelos and Silver.*New York City’s commercial rent tax is a heavy burden on many of the city’s small business owners and according to critics is one factor that contributes to many businesses closing each year, the Post writes: 

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The One Man In the Room Are the DAs and AG Jealous? 
US Attorney Preet Bharara delivered the Pace Law School commencement address yesterday, saying: “We have corrosive corruption in our state capital. We have poison by prescription throughout the country. We have violent gangs, corporations lacking in courage and conscience.”* Amid a wave of public-corruption cases that federal prosecutors have brought against New York lawmakers, state prosecutors are hoping to bolster their power to do the same.* U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara has become a popular commencement speaker at law school graduation ceremonies, unlike his predecessors, who couldn’t recall speaking at any, The Wall Street Journalreports:
Albany and City Hall Corruption


Bharara Responds to Silver 
Preet Bharara’s comments on Sheldon Silver’s allegedcorruption were within the law: prosecutors (NYDN)  Prosecutors on Thursday defended Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara’s public statements slamming former State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver as “entirely proper.” The documents filed in Manhattan Federal Court came in response to a motion by Silver's attorneys seeking to have the case against the disgraced pol tossed due to Bharara's comments, which they said ruined his chance at a fair trial. But Assistant U.S. Attorney Carrie Cohen said Bharara had done everything by the book. Cohen noted that Bharara — who gave a speech at New York Law School and a lengthy MSNBC interview in the wake of Silver’s bombshell arrest — had always spoken in general terms about corruption in Albany, or referred specifically to the criminal complaint against the Assemblyman. “At the end of the day, the defendant is left to complain, not about substance, but about the language the U.S. Attorney used when describing the complaint’s allegations to the public,” Cohen wrote.



Silver's Friends Attack Bharara In Slate 
 A Pace Law School professor who has been critical of U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara’s speech-making and TV appearances in the wake of former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver’s arrest has ties to Silver’s lawyer, the Daily News has learned. Prof. Bennett Gershman and veteran attorney Joel Cohen are longtime friends and occasional co-authors. Gershman, a former prosecutor, recently wrote an online article for Slate that took Bharara to task for what Gershman characterized as grandstanding with inappropriate comments about the speaker and Albany corruption. The article, though, had no mention or editor’s note that Gershman has collaborated on a number of times in the past with Cohen, one of Silver’s lawyers. * Bharara says he cut Silver a break, ‘spared him perp walk’ (NYP) * Federal prosecutors filed a memo opposing Assemblyman Sheldon Silver’s motion to dismiss the corruption charges against him, dismissing a claim of “improper statements,” The Wall Street Journal reports: *The office of Preet Bharara, the United States attorney for the Southern District of New York, asked a federal judge to deny a motion by Assemblyman Sheldon Silver to dismiss his indictment on grounds that Bharara orchestrated a “media firestorm” around the arrest of the former speaker.  Bharara maintains he actually went out of his way to spare Silver undue embarrassment by having him surrender in the basement of the Javits Federal Building before being driven to the courthouse rather than subjecting him to a typical “perp walk.”* Heastie on Silver: "We speak. I've always had a great relationship with him and I don't see why it would change. I consider him a friend."Preet Bharara critic is friend, collaborator of SheldonSilver's attorney (NYDN)

Bharara to Cuomo: Free to Speak On Morland 










 Given U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara’s considerable power, and the respect and acclaim he enjoys with the public, he ought to be especially careful when expressing his opinions, former prosecutor Bennett Gershman writes in Slate:
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The preliminary budget also didn’t set aside any of the $100 million sought by the City Council to hire roughly 1,000 extra cops. Yesterday Insiders say Cuomo is rattled by Silver corruption case (Dicker, NYP) * NY prosecutor PreetBharara disputes Gov. Cuomo’s corruption claim (WNBC) New York’s top federal prosecutor, is rejecting claims by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo that a federal review of corruption investigations has muzzled the governor’s office. In an MSNBC interview airing Tuesday, Bharara says Cuomo’s assertion that he cannot discuss the ongoing investigation is simply not true. “People are able to exercise their public role in the way that they see fit,” Bharara says. “I don’t think I, or anyone else, has ever said that any particular person shouldn’t be talking about how he or she made decisions publicly,” he added. Cuomo set up a commission to investigate political corruption in New York, the Moreland Commission, and then disbanded it in March 2014. Bharara seized its files and began a review of its closure, setting off a clash between two of the most powerful Democrats in New York. * Bharara Criticizes Albany in TV Interview (WSJ) The Comptroller Smells Blood DiNapoli: Cuomo budget boostsreserves, lowers transparency (TU)  * Klein Defends ‘Three Men In A Room’(YNN) * Cuomo’s administration contended state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli’s math was faulty after he released a report questioning aspects of the executive’s proposed budget, the Daily News reports:  * State Sen. Joe Griffo is sponsoring a bill that would place eight-year term limits on the Assembly speaker, temporary Senate president, both houses’ minority leaders and committee chair positions, theTimes Union reports: * One Ban Fits All (YNN)  Unlike his GOP colleague, IDC Leader Jeff Klein is all for a full ban on outside income – as he demonstrated by announcing this week he’ll divest entirely from his private practice law firm.


True News Wrote This A Day Before the NYT

Will Real Estate Baron's Face Any Legal Charges for Corruption Albany?
Is Rob Speyer “Developer 2” in Skelos case? (Real Dean) Description of unnamed developer in federal case against Senate leader matches a top RE player. Tishman Speyer President Robert Speyer — the chairman of the Real Estate Board of New York, the city’s most powerful industry lobby — appears to be the unnamed “Developer 2” in the criminal complaint filed yesterday in the case against Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos.  The complaint, which was filed by U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara, seems to use the high-profile Tishman Speyer executive as an example of how Skelos and his son, who were both arrested Monday, allegedly leveraged their power for personal gain. Neither “Developer 1,” which has already been publicly reported as Leonard Litwin’s Glenwood Management, nor “Developer 2” has been charged with any wrongdoing. * Skelos' Corruption Mostly About Real Estate Tax Breaks and Regulations That Fuel Corruption *Skelos' Corruption Mostly About Real Estate Tax Breaks and Regulations That Fuel Corruption

According to the complaint, Adam Skelos, 32, allegedly used his father’s powerful state position to win business for the East Coast Abstract Group, a Long Island-based title insurance agency where he serves as vice president. The 43-page complaint points to a January 2011 email between Adam Skelos and his supervisor discussing an upcoming lunch meeting he had scheduled with “the president of a major commercial real estate developer based in New York, New York” that owned the Chrysler Building complex. In 2011 Tishman Speyer, the largest family-owned firm in New York City, controlled both the land under the Chrysler Building and a 10 percent stake in the complex after the Abu Dhabi government bought a 90 percent stake in the complex in 2008 for $720 million. The lunch meeting, page nine of the complaint says, was on Dean Skelos’ calendar as well and was scheduled to take place at Developer 2’s office on February 10. The younger Skelos emailed his supervisor to say the developer “wants to start giving me his work,” according to the complaint. A month later, the managing director from Developer 2’s firm wrote to Adam Skelos asking him to generate a title report for a $250 million mortgage on the Chrysler Building complex. The federal prosecutor’s office cited the back-and-forth as one of several examples of how the younger Skelos allegedly sought to monetize his father’s position. In addition to acting as president and co-CEO of his family firm — a position he shares with his father Jerry — Speyer is also chairman of REBNY. REBNY did not immediately to a request for comment. * It emerged that the Tishman Speyer development firm is the company identified as “Developer-2” in the criminal complaint against the Skeloses. The company said it is cooperating with the feds. Real Estate Lobbyists  The influence traders (Real Deal) A look at some of the biggest lobbying firms representing real estate players in City Hall and Albany.

7 Days Ago True News Said the U.S. Attorney Was Target Silver's Kids to Pressure the Speaker, Skelos Daily News Copies Today
Is Bharara going after pols' kids to press parents?(NYDN) Albany insiders question whether U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara (pictured) is deliberately going after the kids of Dean Skelos, Sheldon Silver and other embattled lawmakers to pressure their powerful dads into cooperating or taking plea deals. “The only time I’ve seen it this prevalent is when they’re going after organized crime families, and they’re trying to squeeze the bosses,” a former federal prosecutor said. Albany insiders question whether Bharara is deliberately going after the kids to pressure their powerful lawmaker dads into cooperating or taking plea deals.* Top Lawmakers Often Under Prosecutors’ Scrutiny( YNN)




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Feds Pressure Silver's Daughter to Talk By Leaking She is A Is A Target . . .  Will the Speaker Rat on Member and Developers?
Former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver’s daughter is under investigation and will likely face charges in the alleged $7 million Ponzi scheme that got her husband arrested, the Post writes: Former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver’s daughter is under investigation and will likely face charges in thealleged $7 million Ponzi scheme that got her husband busted, a law-enforcement source told The Post on Tuesday. * Michelle Trebitsch, 37, “is involved” and “most likely will squeeze a plea [deal],” the source added. * Trebitsch’s husband, Marcello Trebitsch, was charged Monday with running a five-year fraud that scammed a Maryland-based developer and his accountant with promises of double-digit profits from trades in large-cap stocks. * According to court papers, Michelle met with the developer in 2009 at a Manhattan restaurant where she said she co-owned her husband’s investment fund, Allese Capita LLC, “and that she was a CPA and maintained the books and records for Allese.”

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Look What the Media Controlled by Old Guard Lobbyists Have Done to NY
U.S. Attorney Over A Year Ago Beg the Press to Help Him Clean Up NY . . . They Turn Their Back to Him, Even Attack Him, Now He is Doing It Himself







One Year Ago   Preet challenges journos to do investigative reporting (CrainsNY) "Rather than just covering the cases that my office and other offices are already bringing, figure out ways to break new ground and to cover new stories," Bharara said. "Groundbreaking corruption coverage is not just good copy, it's a path to good government." Bharara. The press has a role to play. "Rather than just covering the cases that my office and other offices are already bringing, figure out ways to break new ground and to cover new stories," he said 

His crusade to “clean up government” is particularly essential because Albany has so much power over local municipalities, including New York City, he contended. With less federal help than there used to be, a more honest, efficient and incorruptible state government is needed more than ever, Mr. Bharara said. “What happens in Albany is important, what transpires there is important. Even state legislators, believe it or not, are important,” he said to some laughter. “We need a state government that is willing to and capable of tackling the pressing public policy challenges of our time.” Mr. Bharara was not shy about touting the political scalps he’s racked up. Using the example of his office winning a corruption conviction of former Bronx Assemblyman Eric Stevenson, Mr. Bharara said he began to question just how much legislation had been for sale in Albany. “How many past bills were born of bribery?” he asked. * U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara says his corruption investigations will help to improve a “broken down” political system. * Preet Bharara branches out (Capital)* Preet Bharara’s speech fuels speculation of a run for office (NYP) * Bharara Says Corruption Probes Are Not Done; Cuomo Says Lifein State Capitol More Complicated(NY1)
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Feds Bang Silver's Family . . .  The Soldiers in Mob Families 
Sheldon Silver son-in-law busted by FBI in alleged Ponzi scheme (NYP) A son-in-law of disgraced former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver was busted by the feds Monday on charges he ran a $7 million Ponzi scheme. Marcello Trebitsch, who’s married to Silver’s daughter, Michelle Trebitsch, allegedly promised his victims double-digit returns with very low risk before the scam collapsed. Trebistch claimed he would use investors’ money to buy large-cap stocks through Allese Capital LLC, a firm he co-owns with his wife, who is a certified public accountant, according to the feds. But he only actually invested a portion of the funds — and racked up “enormous trading losses” he kept secret — and spent the rest on himself and to pay back other investors.* Sheldon Silver’s Son-in-Law Is Arrested and Charged With Securities Fraud (NYT)Marcello Trebitsch is accused of defrauding investors out of $7 million, according to a criminal complaint.* Sheldon Silver’s son-in-law arrested, accused of defrauding investors with $7M Ponzi scheme (NYDN) * Former NYS Assembly Speaker's son-in-law facing federalfraud charges.(CBS6) *Assemblyman Sheldon Silver’s son-in-law was arrested and accused of defrauding investors out of $7 million. Silver’s daughter is co-owner and managing partner of her husband’s investment fund, but she was not charged.

This Arrests of Silver's Son-In-Law Comes After the Former Speakers Lawyers Failed to Get His Case Dismissed On the Grounds  Prejudicial Statements They Claimed My By Bharara


Grand Jury Targeting Skelos Though his Son
Dean Skelos, New York Senate Leader,and His Son Are Said to Be Focus of Corruption Inquiry (NYT) Federal prosecutors have begun presenting evidence to a grand jury considering a case against the leader of the New York State Senate, Dean G. Skelos of Long Island, and his son, according to people with knowledge of the matter. Investigators have served a number of subpoenas in recent weeks, including several to state senators on Long Island, and federal prosecutors have interviewed people who have had dealings with Adam Skelos, the Republican senator’s son. One focal point has been Adam Skelos’s hiring by an Arizona company, AbTech Industries, as well as a storm-water treatment contract that AbTech was awarded by Nassau County — the senator’s political backyard — even though the company was not the low bidder. Another area of inquiry has been a $20,000 payment to Adam Skelos from a title insurance company that he never worked for. Feds are also examining whether his son’s hiring as a consultant was part of a scheme in which the senator, in exchange, would take official action that would benefit AbTech or another company, Glenwood Management, a politically influential real estate developer that has had ties to AbTech.


What Does Schneiderman Know About the U.S. Attorney's Case Against Cuomo
HOUSING SHORTAGE: Availability of NYCHA apartments for homeless drop under Bill de Blasio (NYDN)Homeless New Yorkers are getting a smaller share of Housing Authority apartments under Mayor de Blasio than under previous administrations, a report to be released Tuesday found. De Blasio, who is grappling with record-high numbers of homeless people needing shelter, has pledged 750 NYCHA apartments a year for homeless New Yorkers, about 12% of the total NYCHA placements available. That’s a sharp decrease from the number of units provided in prior administrations, when fewer New Yorkers were homeless, according to the Homes for Every New Yorker coalition report. Former Mayor David Dinkins prioritized an average of 1,215 NYCHA units annually for homeless families, at a time when fewer than 25,000 New Yorkers were living in shelters nightly — as compared with 60,000 people today. Under Mayor Rudy Giuliani, the shelter census was at about 30,000 a night, and the city set aside an average of 854 NYCHA units a year for the homeless, according to the report. In his first term, ex-Mayor Michael Bloomberg continued with the practice of placing thousands of homeless in NYCHA apartments, averaging about 1,662 public housing placements a year through 2005. But he  completely stopped giving homeless families priority, saying in 2004 that doing so creating an incentive for families to go to shelters. Flashback  Preet Bharara, Eric Schneiderman meet for lunch (NYP) US Attorney Preet Bharara, who is investigating Gov. Cuomo’s dealings with his tainted anti-corruption panel, dined with a key potential witness: state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. Neither camp is saying whether Cuomo or his Moreland Commission to Investigate Public Corruption was on the menu.
Daily News Crap




Preet Bharara Speaks  
Republicans might accept Preet Bharara as attorney general(NYP) * #PreetBharara: institutional "culture" is key re corruption. Must be culture where ppl see bad action & blow whistle, ppl willing to listen. * #PreetBharara: seemed #Moreland was heading right direction. When being disbanded, felt must ensure work not lost to "dust bins of history" * US Atty Bharara at @CrainsNewYork forum on Astorino ad: "people try to use the work they presume my office is doing for their own purposes" *   Preet Bharara keeps mum on whether he's up for AttorneyGeneral Job (NYO)* Preet vows Rikers reforms 'one way or another' (Capital) * Bharara: elections won'taffect timing of his Moreland probe - Newsday @Newsday JCOPE lost another commissioner*Bharara explainsabsence of Wall St.prosecutions(CrainsNY)
US Attorney Preet Bharara



What Does Schneiderman Know About the U.S. Attorney's Case Against Cuomo
HOUSING SHORTAGE: Availability of NYCHA apartments for homeless drop under Bill de Blasio (NYDN)Homeless New Yorkers are getting a smaller share of Housing Authority apartments under Mayor de Blasio than under previous administrations, a report to be released Tuesday found. De Blasio, who is grappling with record-high numbers of homeless people needing shelter, has pledged 750 NYCHA apartments a year for homeless New Yorkers, about 12% of the total NYCHA placements available. That’s a sharp decrease from the number of units provided in prior administrations, when fewer New Yorkers were homeless, according to the Homes for Every New Yorker coalition report. Former Mayor David Dinkins prioritized an average of 1,215 NYCHA units annually for homeless families, at a time when fewer than 25,000 New Yorkers were living in shelters nightly — as compared with 60,000 people today. Under Mayor Rudy Giuliani, the shelter census was at about 30,000 a night, and the city set aside an average of 854 NYCHA units a year for the homeless, according to the report. In his first term, ex-Mayor Michael Bloomberg continued with the practice of placing thousands of homeless in NYCHA apartments, averaging about 1,662 public housing placements a year through 2005. But he  completely stopped giving homeless families priority, saying in 2004 that doing so creating an incentive for families to go to shelters. Flashback  Preet Bharara, Eric Schneiderman meet for lunch (NYP) US Attorney Preet Bharara, who is investigating Gov. Cuomo’s dealings with his tainted anti-corruption panel, dined with a key potential witness: state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. Neither camp is saying whether Cuomo or his Moreland Commission to Investigate Public Corruption was on the menu.


Public Education is Part of U.S. Attorney's War On Political Corruption 
“Prosecution of crime generally is not just an end of itself,” Mr. Bharara told a packed ballroom at the Waldorf Astoria “The point is not just to punish a politician that has broken the law but to help spur the improvement of a political system that has broken down.” He added: “The problem of corruption in New York is systemic and not merely episodic.” Mr. Bharara arguing to the crowd that raising the public’s awareness of corruption is part of his job. “So whether it’s gang violence or cyber crime or national security or drug trafficking or a prescription pill epidemic or fraud on Wall Street, it’s fundamentally important to talk about those issues so that … we are not just focusing on prosecuting crime but also preventing and deterring and raising public awareness is a central part of that responsibility,” he said.  In order to transform a corrupt political culture, “there needs to be public awareness,” Mr. Bharara continued. “Without public awareness, there is no focus. Without public awareness, there is no resolve. Without public awareness, things tend to never change.”  *  Preet's latest speech: "Without public awareness,things tend never to change." (TU)


One Year Ago   Preet challenges journos to do investigative reporting (CrainsNY) "Rather than just covering the cases that my office and other offices are already bringing, figure out ways to break new ground and to cover new stories," Bharara said. "Groundbreaking corruption coverage is not just good copy, it's a path to good government." Bharara. The press has a role to play. "Rather than just covering the cases that my office and other offices are already bringing, figure out ways to break new ground and to cover new stories," he said 

His crusade to “clean up government” is particularly essential because Albany has so much power over local municipalities, including New York City, he contended. With less federal help than there used to be, a more honest, efficient and incorruptible state government is needed more than ever, Mr. Bharara said. “What happens in Albany is important, what transpires there is important. Even state legislators, believe it or not, are important,” he said to some laughter. “We need a state government that is willing to and capable of tackling the pressing public policy challenges of our time.” Mr. Bharara was not shy about touting the political scalps he’s racked up. Using the example of his office winning a corruption conviction of former Bronx Assemblyman Eric Stevenson, Mr. Bharara said he began to question just how much legislation had been for sale in Albany. “How many past bills were born of bribery?” he asked. * U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara says his corruption investigations will help to improve a “broken down” political system. * Preet Bharara branches out (Capital)* Preet Bharara’s speech fuels speculation of a run for office (NYP) * Bharara Says Corruption Probes Are Not Done; Cuomo Says Lifein State Capitol More Complicated(NY1)
Bharara Trying to Repair New York's Broken Democracy Does the Job of the Press and the Missing Reform Political Leaders

ProsecutorDenies Creating a ‘Media Firestorm’ Over Sheldon Silver’s Arrest (NYT) * Preet Bharara DefendsHis Public Appearances at Zephyr Teachout Forum (NYO) Mr. Bharara told the filled room at the law school’s Lincoln Center campus that his public denunciations of Albany’s “culture of corruption” are intended to raise awareness of the ethics dilemmas facing the state government, to deter potential bad actors and to encourage well-intentioned public officials to push back against the problem.“Part of your job as a law enforcement official, whether you’re a prosecutor, or the Attorney General, or the FBI director, is to help prevent crime and deter crime.” * “It’s not enough to simply make sure we’re getting rid of the bad folks,” the US attorney said. “We want to make sure we are empowering, or sometimes embarrassing, good folks at any institution that exists to do something when they see something.”

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New FBI Tapes of Albany Pols and Their Lobbyists
New Targets for Bharara Stay Tuned
Sheldon Silver Probe Prompts Wiretaps on New Targets,Sources Say (DNAINFO) Federal investigators have begun wiretapping a new set of potential targets as a result of the probe that led to the indictment off former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, DNAinfo has learned. Investigators in the U.S. Attorney's office and the FBI obtained court authorization to eavesdrop on an ever-expanding group of possible corrupt government officials and those who do business with them, including lawyers, lobbyists and contractors, sources said. The targets came to light during the two-year investigation of the powerful state Assembly leader — during which federal corruption fighters found “numerous new tentacles” to pursue, sources said.  Federal authorities were "already listening to numerous people in various places" on unrelated investigations before looking into Silver, and his "case provided a bunch of new places to wiretap,” a law enforcement source told "On The Inside."  The revelation that there is a new wave of federal eavesdropping from the speaker’s probe is certain to rattle an already-anxious Albany, where dozens of lawmakers have been convicted on corruption charges, many of them secretly caught on tape. In recent years, secret recordings and wiretaps have helped nail lawmakers on corruption-related charges including state Sen. Malcolm Smith, Councilman Daniel Halloran, Assemblyman Eric Stevenson and Assemblyman Nelson Castro. “Stay tuned,” Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara warned state legislators after announcing Silver’s indictment in February. * Federal investigators reportedly have begun wiretapping a new set of potential targets as a result of the probe that led to the indictment off former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver.



The U.S. Attorney's is Fighting A Culture Of Acceptence of Corruption By the Public and the Media
“Prosecution of crime generally is not just an end of itself,” Mr. Bharara told a packed ballroom at the Waldorf Astoria “The point is not just to punish a politician that has broken the law but to help spur the improvement of a political system that has broken down.” He added: “The problem of corruption in New York is systemic and not merely episodic.” Mr. Bharara arguing to the crowd that raising the public’s awareness of corruption is part of his job. “So whether it’s gang violence or cyber crime or national security or drug trafficking or a prescription pill epidemic or fraud on Wall Street, it’s fundamentally important to talk about those issues so that … we are not just focusing on prosecuting crime but also preventing and deterring and raising public awareness is a central part of that responsibility,” he said.  In order to transform a corrupt political culture, “there needs to be public awareness,” Mr. Bharara continued. “Without public awareness, there is no focus. Without public awareness, there is no resolve. Without public awareness, things tend to never change.”  *  Preet's latest speech: "Without public awareness,things tend never to change." (TU)

Bharara Trying to Repair New York's Broken Democracy Does the Job of the Press and the Missing Reform Political Leaders

ProsecutorDenies Creating a ‘Media Firestorm’ Over Sheldon Silver’s Arrest (NYT) * Preet Bharara DefendsHis Public Appearances at Zephyr Teachout Forum (NYO) Mr. Bharara told the filled room at the law school’s Lincoln Center campus that his public denunciations of Albany’s “culture of corruption” are intended to raise awareness of the ethics dilemmas facing the state government, to deter potential bad actors and to encourage well-intentioned public officials to push back against the problem.“Part of your job as a law enforcement official, whether you’re a prosecutor, or the Attorney General, or the FBI director, is to help prevent crime and deter crime.” * “It’s not enough to simply make sure we’re getting rid of the bad folks,” the US attorney said. “We want to make sure we are empowering, or sometimes embarrassing, good folks at any institution that exists to do something when they see something.” Skelos U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara asked a federal judge not to dismiss corruption charges against state Sen. Dean Skelos, who was arrested last May and lost his leadership position in the Senate, saying the senator had no legal grounds to have the charges dropped, Newsday reports: 



Bharara Not Only Fighting Albany Corruption He is Fighting A Culture Defining Deviancy Down 

Bharara defending his mission as crucial to bringing true democracy to a state hobbled by a history of graft
Anti-corruption crusader Preet Bharara took his clean-up-Albany message to Fordham Law School a few weeks ago, defending his mission as crucial to bringing true democracy to a state hobbled by a history of graft. "Anyone who denies the fact or suggests that corruption is not a problem in the cases that we have brought recently in Albany is off base," he said. The day he was formally indicted, Silver filed a motion to dismiss the case, arguing that Bharara’s speechifying was tainting his ability to get an unbiased jury. On Thursday Bharara's office fired back, noting that since 2007 at least 18 current or former Albany pols have been convicted of corruption charges and stating that Bharara has an obligation to speak out. In his speech Friday, Bharara did not mention Silver's name even once. Prosecutors Hit Back at Sheldon Silver Dismissal Motion (WSJ) * Bharara rebuts Silver’s dismissal bid (Real Deal) US attorney fights assertion that his speeches to media were prejudicial * Preet encourages whistleblowers to step forward, cites CityTime, where person who spoke up early was ignored * Preet: "If we can clean up Times Square, can we really not clean up Albany?"  * Bharara Defends Himself from Criticism that He's Politicizing Prosecution ofSilver (NY1) * Politics was once about beliefs and society. Now it’s aworship of money (Guardian) * Bharara Calls for Heightened Awareness of Public Corruption via @NYLawJournal

The NYT and DN Should take the Blinders off and Investigate Who Next for the Feds 
Bharara creates a grim guessing game in Albany(Capital)“When the U.S. Attorney proudly announces 'stay tuned,' it's crystal clear more is going to happen and everybody is looking over their shoulder,” said Blair Horner, legislative director for the New York Public Interest Research Group and a three-decade Capitol veteran. “When he said that, a chill went up the collective political spines of Albany's elite. Not just lawmakers, but also interest groups and lobbyists.” On Friday, lawmakers buzzed over a report that Bharara was looking at Senate Republican leader Dean Skelos, another third of the governing troika. Skelos' aidesquickly questioned the report and said he had not retained a criminal defense attorney or been contacted by prosecutors. * Shaken by the corruption charges against Silver as well as other high-profile arrests in recent years, many lawmakers have become critical of JCOPE, questioning whether it has been effective or independent.

Moreland Was Killed to Protect Silver's Real Estate Conspiracy That Made Him Millions
 Governor Cuomo’s top real estate donor is Glenwood Management, with $800,000 contributed through 19 LLCs, according to ProPublica * Of the LLCs giving to Cuomo, the most generous are controlled by Glenwood Management, a real estate development company headquartered on Long Island. * Gov. Cuomo received $76,000 from real estate investors weeks before giving their property a tax break on bill (NYDN)  *  At least 6 citywide candidates got the loot from the buildings developers.(NYDN)  Extell contributions to city officials were designed to take advantage of the public matching fund program.  
Bharara Not Only Fighting Albany Corruption He is Fighting A Culture Defining Deviancy Down 

Bharara defending his mission as crucial to bringing true democracy to a state hobbled by a history of graft
Anti-corruption crusader Preet Bharara took his clean-up-Albany message to Fordham Law School Friday, defending his mission as crucial to bringing true democracy to a state hobbled by a history of graft. "Anyone who denies the fact or suggests that corruption is not a problem in the cases that we have brought recently in Albany is off base," he said. The day he was formally indicted, Silver filed a motion to dismiss the case, arguing that Bharara’s speechifying was tainting his ability to get an unbiased jury. On Thursday Bharara's office fired back, noting that since 2007 at least 18 current or former Albany pols have been convicted of corruption charges and stating that Bharara has an obligation to speak out. In his speech Friday, Bharara did not mention Silver's name even once. Prosecutors Hit Back at Sheldon Silver Dismissal Motion (WSJ) * Bharara rebuts Silver’s dismissal bid (Real Deal) US attorney fights assertion that his speeches to media were prejudicial * Preet encourages whistleblowers to step forward, cites CityTime, where person who spoke up early was ignored * Preet: "If we can clean up Times Square, can we really not clean up Albany?"  * Bharara Defends Himself from Criticism that He's Politicizing Prosecution ofSilver (NY1) * Politics was once about beliefs and society. Now it’s aworship of money (Guardian) * Bharara Calls for Heightened Awareness of Public Corruption via @NYLawJournal
More On U.S Attorney Preet Bharara



Press Ignoring Bharara Pleas to Investigate Corruption Opens Door for Silver Lawyers to Blame the U.S. Attorney 
Bharara to Journalist Investigate Stop Copying My Press Releases do Investigative Reporting

One Year Ago

Preet challenges journos to do investigative reporting (CrainsNY) "Rather than just covering the cases that my office and other offices are already bringing, figure out ways to break new ground and to cover new stories," Bharara said. "Groundbreaking corruption coverage is not just good copy, it's a path to good government." Bharara. The press has a role to play. "Rather than just covering the cases that my office and other offices are already bringing, figure out ways to break new ground and to cover new stories," he said 

Bharara Trying to Repair New York's Broken Democracy Does the Job of the Press and the Missing Reform Political Leaders
ProsecutorDenies Creating a ‘Media Firestorm’ Over Sheldon Silver’s Arrest (NYT) * Preet Bharara DefendsHis Public Appearances at Zephyr Teachout Forum (NYO) Mr. Bharara told the filled room at the law school’s Lincoln Center campus that his public denunciations of Albany’s “culture of corruption” are intended to raise awareness of the ethics dilemmas facing the state government, to deter potential bad actors and to encourage well-intentioned public officials to push back against the problem.“Part of your job as a law enforcement official, whether you’re a prosecutor, or the Attorney General, or the FBI director, is to help prevent crime and deter crime.” * “It’s not enough to simply make sure we’re getting rid of the bad folks,” the US attorney said. “We want to make sure we are empowering, or sometimes embarrassing, good folks at any institution that exists to do something when they see something.”

More on Sheldon Silver and His Indictment 






Bharara Arrests of Silver and Skelos Shuts Down Litwin's Glenwood Campaign Funding for Albany
Filings show Glenwood no longer a major donor (Capital) Preet Bharara has made actual, tangible results in getting money out of NY politics * Glenwood Management, perennially the state’s largest campaign contributor, has drastically reduced its campaign donations in the wake of federal investigations in which company officials are reportedly embroiled, Capital New York reports:  * The Real Estate Board of New York spent $3 million opposing a prevailing wage provisionin the renewal of the 421a tax abatement.


Developers Tied to Skelos and Silver Cases Funded 421-a Lobbyists Effort
Developers tied to Skelos and Silver cases funded lobbying effort (TU) In the wake of two high-profile political corruption cases allegedly involving major New York City real estate developers, some of those same developers helped fund a $1.9 million Albany lobbying effort this year for a lucrative tax break. A lobbying disclosure filing provided Friday by the group Putting New Yorkers to Work, a nonprofit run by leadership of the real estate trade group the Real Estate Board of New York, reported the group taking in $200,000 in May from eight limited liability companies controlled by Glenwood Management.

That’s the Long Island luxury residential developer that played a supporting role in the federal corruption charges against ex-Democratic Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and former Republican Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos. Silver stepped down from his legislative leadership post in January and Skelos in May.  Glenwood’s donations to the lobbying group are listed as coming in on May 8 – four days after Skelos was arrested and charged.  Glenwood has long been the state’s biggest political donor, including to its three statewide Democrats – Gov. Andrew Cuomo, Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, and Comptroller Tom DiNapoli – but appears to have tamped down its campaign spending in light of the federal scrutiny. Last Wednesday, Cuomo reported no political donations from the company the past six months. The company did, however, make the $200,000 lobbying contribution, which was part of nearly $1.9 million in total spending by Putting New Yorkers To Work in May and June.

The spending went to television and radio ads, digital media, and polling. Charles Dorego, a top Glenwood official, was given a non-prosecution agreement in conjunction with his assistance in the Skelos case. In both the Silver and Skelos cases, the lawmakers are accused of concocting schemes in which Glenwood would enrich them, or their families, in exchange for favorable treatment on one or several of the key issues Glenwood has before the Legislature, from rent regulation to tax breaks for developers. Skelos allegedly threatened to stop helping the industry if he didn’t get its support. A developer that had a cameo role in the complaint against Skelos, Tishman Speyer, also gave $250,000 to the lobbying effort, the disclosure shows. According to the complaint against Skelos, Skelos’ son, Adam, who is also facing charges, sought title insurance work from the developer. Neither Glenwood Management nor Tishman Speyer has been charged with wrongdoing. Putting New Yorkers to Work was formed to push for the interests of big real estate and affordable housing developers in the battle over the extension of the 421-a tax abatement, which expired in June and gives lucrative tax breaks to developers in exchange for their building affordable housing. Of the $3.1 in contributions collected by Putting New Yorkers to Work, the biggest donor was the New York State Association for Affordable Housing, a trade association for affordable housing developers that gave $500,000. Many of New York City’s biggest developers gave, from the Durst Organization to The Related Companies. The group was aligned with New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, who has made building affordable housing a priority for his administration, but was at odds with a group funded by buildings trades unions, UP4NYC, that itself engaged in a well-funded push for a new prevailing wage mandate for construction workers at 421-a projects. * "Neither Glenwood Management nor Tishman Speyer hasbeen charged with wrongdoing". (TU)


"Defining Deviancy Down” Newspapers No Longer Attack the Political Bosses That Control City's Elections
From 1939 to 1976 Former NY Post Owner Dorothy Schiff Challenged Carmine De Sapio head of Manhattan’s Tammany Hall as well as the entrenched bosses in Brooklyn and the Bronx.  Schiff was even active in the anit Tammany Lexington Democratic Club.  The Post editorials went after the bosses whenever an opportunity arose. Dolly and Jimmy Wechsler were close to the leadership of the Liberal party.  The Liberal Party was part of the Democratic Party, but outside the party.  If there was a liberal Republic running for office, or a n undesirable Democrat, the Liberal Party would go to the Democratic bosses an say, you know if you have a liberal guy, we’ll endorse him, and if you don’t we’ll run an independent candidate.  That was the game.   The New York City newspaper tradition of going after the bosses that control the city's elections goes back over 100 years before Schiff sold the Post to Murdoch.  In the 1870's Thomas Nass published weekly attacks on boss tweed in the Harpers Weekly magazine. In 1871 the Times expose the crooked dealings of Tammany Hall's William Marcy Tweed, or "Boss Tweed", who, along with others, had been stealing millions from the New York City Treasury. In 1965 the NY Times supported John Lindsay over Abe Beame because Beame would owe a very great deal to some of the worst machine elements in the city, and anyone who hopes that he will be caught dissociating himself from the old-style bosses of the Democratic party is living in a fool’s paradise.

"Defining Deviancy Down" 
Part 1. Unlike the Prosecutors of New York's Past Today the Law and the Press Pushed Out Political Boss de Sapio  Part 2. Today Campaign Consultant Lobbyists Openly Bribe Elected Officials to Get Government Contracts While the Prosecutors and Press Give Them A Pass


Today Lobbyists Have Gotten Away With the Pay to Play Corruption That Sent Boss de Sapio to Jail

DeSapio reached a low point in 1969 when he was convicted in a Federal Court of conspiracy and bribery after it was acknowledged that he conspired to bribe the former New York City water commissioner, James L. Marcus, and extort contracts from Consolidated Edison that would result in kickbacks.[2] He served two years in federal prison (1971–1973). After his release, he never re-entered politics.  Today campaign consultant run campaigns and raise money to elected puppets that will cater to their lobbyists clients

.

Bharara Not Only Fighting Albany Corruption He is Fighting A Culture Defining Deviancy Down 

Bharara defending his mission as crucial to bringing true democracy to a state hobbled by a history of graft
Anti-corruption crusader Preet Bharara took his clean-up-Albany message to Fordham Law School Friday, defending his mission as crucial to bringing true democracy to a state hobbled by a history of graft. "Anyone who denies the fact or suggests that corruption is not a problem in the cases that we have brought recently in Albany is off base," he said. The day he was formally indicted, Silver filed a motion to dismiss the case, arguing that Bharara’s speechifying was tainting his ability to get an unbiased jury. On Thursday Bharara's office fired back, noting that since 2007 at least 18 current or former Albany pols have been convicted of corruption charges and stating that Bharara has an obligation to speak out. In his speech Friday, Bharara did not mention Silver's name even once. Prosecutors Hit Back at Sheldon Silver Dismissal Motion (WSJ) * Bharara rebuts Silver’s dismissal bid (Real Deal) US attorney fights assertion that his speeches to media were prejudicial * Preet encourages whistleblowers to step forward, cites CityTime, where person who spoke up early was ignored * Preet: "If we can clean up Times Square, can we really not clean up Albany?"  * Bharara Defends Himself from Criticism that He's Politicizing Prosecution ofSilver (NY1) * Politics was once about beliefs and society. Now it’s aworship of money (Guardian) * Bharara Calls for Heightened Awareness of Public Corruption via @NYLawJournal





A City of Sheep Have Not Demanded That Political Corruption Be Stopped
U.S. Attorney Criticizes Albany’s ‘Three Men in a Room’ Culture(NYT) Preet Bharara, speaking at the New York Law School, took direct aim at how deal-making has long been done in the state capital. Preet riffs on New York for being the ‘sitcom’ state(NYP) People need to demand more, Bharara says before quoting Edward R Murrow: 'a nation of sheep will beget a government of wolves'* - time for reform is now. Time for people to demand more from their pols. * "I'm very confused about the Moreland Commission" like many others, Bharara says, done thinking about its powers (doing own investigations) * "The purpose of school is to educate people...if all our schools did was teach to the test, we'd have a bunch of crappy people" -Bharara * People need to demand more, Bharara says before quoting Edward R Murrow: 'a nation of sheep will beget a government of wolves' Bharara: reforms are needed; and we almost had that with the Moreland Commission (audience grumbles)* "A lot of people can't name their state legislators, they can't name 2 of the 3 men in the room" Bharara says, adding public must care.

Why Are the DAs Not Finding Corrupt Pols?
 Bharara has argued that prosecutors to take policy positionson criminal justice reform, why not corruption?(TU)* Why Are NYC's DAs Not Indicting Pols?







Press Ignoring Bharara Pleas to Investigate Corruption Opens Door for Silver Lawyers to Blame the U.S. Attorney 
Bharara to Journalist Investigate Stop Copying My Press Releases do Investigative Reporting

One Year Ago

Preet challenges journos to do investigative reporting (CrainsNY) "Rather than just covering the cases that my office and other offices are already bringing, figure out ways to break new ground and to cover new stories," Bharara said. "Groundbreaking corruption coverage is not just good copy, it's a path to good government." Bharara. The press has a role to play. "Rather than just covering the cases that my office and other offices are already bringing, figure out ways to break new ground and to cover new stories," he said 

Bharara Trying to Repair New York's Broken Democracy Does the Job of the Press and the Missing Reform Political Leaders
ProsecutorDenies Creating a ‘Media Firestorm’ Over Sheldon Silver’s Arrest (NYT) * Preet Bharara DefendsHis Public Appearances at Zephyr Teachout Forum (NYO) Mr. Bharara told the filled room at the law school’s Lincoln Center campus that his public denunciations of Albany’s “culture of corruption” are intended to raise awareness of the ethics dilemmas facing the state government, to deter potential bad actors and to encourage well-intentioned public officials to push back against the problem.“Part of your job as a law enforcement official, whether you’re a prosecutor, or the Attorney General, or the FBI director, is to help prevent crime and deter crime.” * “It’s not enough to simply make sure we’re getting rid of the bad folks,” the US attorney said. “We want to make sure we are empowering, or sometimes embarrassing, good folks at any institution that exists to do something when they see something.”


Instead of Connecting the Corruption Dots to Save Democracy Media Joins Silver's Defense Team
U.S. Attorney Keeps Talking, but Leaves Out Sheldon Silver (NYT) Preet Bharara, the United States attorney in Manhattan, offered a notable silence on a corruption case involving the speaker of the New York Assembly after his public remarks became part of it.  Silver's lawyers recently asked a federal judge, Valerie E. Caproni, to dismiss the indictment against Mr. Silver on grounds of “improper extrajudicial” comments by Mr. Bharara. They cited a news conference he held on Jan. 22 to announce the charges, the speech the next day at New York Law School and an interview with MSNBC. The allegations have been strongly denied by Mr. Bharara’s office, which has asked Judge Caproni to deny the motion. Asked whether the United States attorney had taken a different approach in his speech on Friday because Mr. Silver’s pending motion, a spokesman for Mr. Bharara declined to comment. 

NY's Real Estate Industrial Legal Complex Tries to Shut US Attorney Bharara Up 
Mr. Bharara’s speech, atFordham University School of Law, was the keynote address of a symposium, “Fighting Corruption in America and Abroad.” But in his talk, Mr. Bharara returned several times to why he believed it was crucial for a law enforcement official like himself to publicly address corruption. He has noted that more than 18 New York State lawmakers had been prosecuted since 2007. “It’s a fundamental part of this job to talk about these issues,” he said, “so as a community and a country, we’re not just focused narrowly on prosecuting crime but also preventing it and deterring it.” Thomas H. Lee, the law professor who introduced Mr. Bharara, told the audience of academics, students, journalists and others that “as the U.S. attorney, he cannot answer any questions about ongoing prosecutions.” Mr. Bharara also indicated that he did not intend to discuss pending cases.  In the talk, Mr. Bharara raised the question of what kind of government people actually wanted, and seemed to veer at times into an almost philosophical discussion, with references to Archimedes and John Rawls, the noted theorist on justice who had been Mr. Bharara’s professor at Harvard College.  Would you fashion a weak legislature and strong executive?”

NY's Real Estate Industrial Legal Complex Already Controls the Media and Elected Officials
 Mr. Bharara asked. “Would you desire a system in which an individual representative has some power, or one in which all power is concentrated in a single leader?” Mr. Bharara did refer to a closed case involving Eric A. Stevenson, a former Democratic state assemblyman from the Bronx who was convicted in a corruption case and sentenced to three years in prison. Mr. Bharara cited Mr. Stevenson’s now infamous statement, recorded secretly by the government during its investigation, in which he said, “Bottom line, if half of the people up here in Albany was ever caught for what they do,” they would wind up in prison.

Lawmakers Who Have Done Nothing to Clean-Up Albany Upset With the One Man Who Has

WHAT THE MUCK? Albany lawmakers cry foul over Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara's tactics, say he's overstepping (NYDN)  More than a dozen state legislators, legislative officials and other insiders interviewed by the Daily News give credit to Preet Bharara for targeting Albany wrongdoing but are fuming over what they say is the powerful prosecutor’s publicity seeking, tarring of the entire Legislature, and wading into governance issues far beyond the scope of his office. 


Bharara "If You Got Them By the Balls Their Hearts and Minds Will Follow" John Wayne
Gov. Cuomo Talks Reform(NYT Ed)  Gov. Andrew Cuomo sounded this week a lot like the candidate he was in 2010, when he promised that his first job as governor would be “restoring public trust and accountability” in state government. He has done little to fulfill that pledge, and worse, he canceled the Moreland Commission midway through its investigation of ethical lapses by lawmakers last year. With the arrest of the former Assembly speaker, Sheldon Silver, on corruption charges, Governor Cuomo, the reformer, has reappeared on the scene. Mr. Cuomo said he was prepared to allow this year’s budget to go into overtime, if necessary, unless the reforms are passed. That is a credible threat; legislators’ paychecks are withheld until a budget passes. The governor can also include his reforms in temporary spending bills that keep the government going until a permanent budget is approved. His obligation now is to maintain his resolve and not collapse when back-room trading to produce a budget begins.

The NYT hopes Cuomo “might actually put some political power” behind the effort this time
Mr. Cuomo’s reawakened interest in a cleaner Albany was clearly inspired by revelations surrounding the once-powerful speaker. Mr. Cuomo’s reawakened interest in a cleaner Albany was clearly inspired by revelations surrounding the once-powerful speaker. * The Imperfect Messenger Background Will Give Him Little Ability to Fight Against Real Reforms The scoop on Heastie: Background from The Bronx(NYP). The Bronx seems to have been corruption central since 2002. Wags wondered what was in the water. The shameful rogues gallery of Bronx wrongdoers include state legislators Gloria Davis, Guy Velella, Pedro Espada, Nelson Castro and Eric Stevenson, as well as City Councilman Larry Seabrook, whom Heastie years ago once served as campaign treasurer.* The speaker from Baychester(Capital) * Michael Benjamin in the Post writes he has “some hope” for the promises of transparency and reform made by newly-elected Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, despite his questionable background: * Bharara: NY is the 'show me the money' state(LoHud)

You Cannot Cure A Culture of Corruption By Appealing to Albany's Better Angels
 Former Sen. George Maziarz directed aides to destroy old campaign-related bills and receipts last spring, just before federal prosecutors ramped up a probe into Albany corruption and the misuse of political donations for personal use. In his push for greater disclosure of outside income by state lawmakers, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said he expects his proposed ethics reforms will be rejected because many in the Legislature cannot comply. * The Buffalo News says: “Lawmakers are tone-deaf. They were tone-deaf in the way they went about electing a new speaker. They were tone-deaf in 2013 when they initially shunned any ethics reform, leading to Cuomo’s creation of a short-lived, if ultimately productive, Moreland Commission on public corruption. There is little reason to believe they have suddenly learned to sing.”* Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver was arrested on a series of corruption charges a few weeks ago.  Check our timeline of New York politician behaving badly.
 Cuomo After Silver's Arrest I See the Reform Light Again



#PreetBharara just compared Albany corruption to gang violence, which is not subtle
So they found a sneaky way to avoid voting no that has exactly the same result — nothing changes. Meanwhile, the governor has no qualms about taking LLC money — which accounted for fully one-quarter of the $20 million raised for his reelection campaign last year. Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie and his majority Democrats pay lip service to LLC reform, too. Yet they package it with more controversial measures — such as taxpayer financing of elections — that they know to be dead on arrival in the Senate.* Cuomo said he will use executive powers to enable a special prosecutor to pursue charges against police officers who kill civilians if lawmakers don’t approve his related plan, the Times Union reports:    The Daily News’ Bill Hammond writes that Republicans’ want to block attempts to reform the campaign finance system’s treatment of limited liability companies, but Democrats are paying “lip service” to such efforts, too: * State Senate GOP kills bill that would have prohibited state from reimbursing lawyer fees to campaign funds (NYDN) GOP Boss and Silver Agree Cox: Bharara Trying Cases In Press (YNN) New York Republican Chairman Ed Cox on Wednesday in a radio interview criticized U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara’s office for leaking the details of an investigation of the state’s highest-ranking GOP elected official. Klein Ethics Up to GOP Not Me Klein Leaves Skelos Up To The Republicans (YNN) JCOPE Corruption JCOPE Commissioner Gary Lavine denied there was a conflict of interest from his work at a prominent central New York firm, Bousquet Holstein, on its “government relations” team, the Times Union writes: 



  • Savino Calls Mark-Viverito an "Idiot" but Wants Bharara Not to Cast Aspersions 
Lawmakers Blame the Prosecutor Not Themselves for Albany Corruption
“You want to target corruption? God bless you,” said state Sen. Diane Savino (D-S.I.). “That’s what you’re supposed to do. But the fact there’s some corruption in the Legislature does not mean we all are corrupt. And the rest of us don’t appreciate the comparison.” Assemblyman Nick Perry (D-Brooklyn) is one of many who agreed. * In Federal Indictment ScarboroughAccused Of Misusing Reimbursement Money(YNN)* "Huntley said .. Sampson had warned her earlier to get rid of her phone because the feds were 'on my wire.' " (NYDN) * Huntley’s Colleagues Caught On Wiretap(YNN) * After Helping The FBI, Former State Senator Shirley Huntley Still Gets Slapped With A Year In Prison(Village Voice)

“It’s totally unfair to sort of cast a wide net of mud and dirt across the whole spectrum of elected officials that serve New York” Assemblyman Perry  
 Bharara sees corruption “all over” New York State - The Buffalo News. Stay Tuned “He’s nothing but a politician with a badge,” said one Assembly Democrat. “He should be doing everything he can to root out corruption, but he should not be threatening and grandstanding, telling the world to ‘stay tuned’ and tarring everybody with a criminal brush. It’s inappropriate.” Three Men in A Room is None of Bharara Business “He’s going far beyond the role of a prosecutor,” said a Senate Republican. “If you find people having a conflict of interest or making money illegally, go for it. But ‘three men in a room’? It’s not for a U.S. attorney to be commenting on a system of government.” * Assemblyman-turned-convict Boyland denied bail(NYP) * Prosecutors say Boyland ‘sold his office’ in closing arguments(NYP)
The Elected Officials Who Did Not Speak Out Against Moreland Being Closed Down are Upset Castro Wore A Wire 
HEAR NO EVIL, SEE NO EVIL: New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, the Democrats in the state Legislature are all performing the same duck-and-cover routine when it comes to commenting on Moreland Commission interference, writes City & State’s Morgan Pehme in his latest column: * Even some of Bharara’s investigative tactics have come under fire from lawmakers. Perry is critical of the decision to allow then-Bronx Assembly Democrat Nelson Castro to twice run for reelection while secretly under indictment. Flashback Bribery conviction lands former assemblyman 3 years in prison(NYP) 
Most people don't recall abt 30 yr ago 3 reformers took on political power structure in Albany & became outcasts. Ferris, Pesce, Barbaro

Killing Moreland Killing 3 Men in A Room And Others in Albany
Speak up, Gov (NYP Ed) With the arrests of top Albany pols, and with Bharara having taken up the work Moreland wasn’t allowed to finish, New Yorkers would surely love to hear Cuomo explain why he did what he did. Then again, he’s already talked about Moreland. Actually, double-talked: Once he said he shut the panel to save money; another time, that it was only meant as a way to pass an ethics bill. This week’s excuse? The probers got “stuck.” Cuomo has also claimed the panel was independent — except when he was insisting it was “my commission, so he could “appoint” or “unappoint” members as he pleased.  In a New Yorker piece this week, he offers a gem to defend shutting the panel even though Bharara used its work to indict then-Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver: “If [former Rep.] Anthony Weiner shows his private parts, do you blame Obama?”   New York state legislators open to unveiling their outside income
Hours after the Daily News published the names of 16 lawmakers who made more than $100,000 in outside income, state Senate GOP Leader Dean Skelos issued a statement saying he was 'actively engaged in discussions' with Gov. Cuomo on a package of ethics reforms.* The Post urges Cuomo to speak up about his dealings with the Moreland Commission, an anticorruption panel he convened and shut, now that U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said he is free to discuss his role in the probe * De Blasio demands more MTA funding in $77.7B budget plan (NYP) The mayor raised the issue of the $15.2 billion MTA capital budget deficit and the state’s failure to abide by a 2007 settlement that promised additional education funds to the city — saying arguments about lean economic times no longer hold water. He also reminded the governor that the state was shortchanging the city on education aid. “It’s time to have a serious conversation again about the state’s ongoing obligation to the city and other cities around the state in terms of the CFE agreement,” de Blasio declared, referring to the court settlement of a lawsuit brought by the Campaign for Fiscal Equity. Despite the annual uncertainties about state and federal funding, de Blasio found plenty of dollars for his pet initiatives in his Fiscal Year 2016 budget proposal, including a $40 million boost to pre-K funding and a $45 million increase to after-school programs. Other significant allocations included $28.4 million for rental assistance to move homeless families out of shelters, and $35.3 million to reduce violence in the city’s jails. Missing from the spending plan were any cuts, which officials said would have to wait until April because agency heads are still working to identify internal savings.* Why Silver Helped Kill Moreland  New York state Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, now under federal investigation, was also under scrutiny this year by the Moreland Commission looking into the sources of his six-figure outside income, The WallStreet Journal reports: 


Green Shoots of Democracy In Reforming Albany Caused by the Law Not Daily News

It's Not the Daily News that is forcing Albany's Hand by publishing the names off the anti-reforms, it's the fear of jail. It is a good thing that the News is publishing the names of the bastards, but that is their job and should have always be putting pressure on our elected officials They should also listen to all of the U.S. Attorney's message to the media last year.  "Rather than just covering the cases that my office and other offices are already bringing, figure out ways to break new ground and to cover new stories," Bharara said. "Groundbreaking corruption coverage is not just good copy, it's a path to good government." Bharara  * Dean Skelos feels the heat (NYDN) New York's State Senate leader, who shields up to $250,000 in annual income from outside scrutiny, finds a sudden passion for transparency in state legislators' business affairs  * Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos said he’s “actively engaged” in talks with Gov. Andrew Cuomo to enact ethics reforms because “we need full transparency…to restore the public’s trust.” But the Long Island Republican has balked at providing a public list of his outside law clients.* NY State Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos probed by feds (NYDN) Someone is Watching the AG Bharara and Schneiderman Do Lunch (YNN) * Schneiderman: No Comment On Moreland * Schneiderman Breaks Silence on Moreland Commission(NY1)


Ruben Diaz Defends Bharara, Says He is Cleaning-Up Albany 
Former Democratic Assemblyman Eric Stevenson is heading to ​prison after being sentenced Wednesday to three years behind bars for pocketing more than $22,000 in bribes as part of a scheme... “Mr. Bharara is doing a great job,” said Sen. Ruben Diaz Sr. (D-Bronx). “He’s the only one who could clean up the mess in Albany.” Added an Assembly Democrat: “He’s building his yellow brick road and we’ll see where that leads. If there’s something wrong, it’s not a bad thing. If there isn’t something wrong, it will turn around and bite him in the butt.”*  Two-thirds of New York's voters think Albany lawmakers are corrupt(NYDN)  * * Report: State Lawmakers Spending Heavily On Legal Fees(YNN)

U.S. Attorney Pushing Reforms In Albany Someone Should Tell the Daily News and NYP 
The Daily News Credit Cuomo With Taking A Stand and Do Not Include the U.S. Attorney Investigations of Albany, Convictions of Elected Officials or the Speakers Arrest
Gov. Cuomo takes a smart stand on ethics andeducation (NYDN Ed) With a muscular exercise of executive power, Gov. Cuomo has forced a showdown with the Legislature that promises to make the first year of his second term among the most consequential of his administration.  On Friday, Cuomo inserted key proposals on ethics and schools into the spending bills necessary to run agencies and fund programs.* Cuomo Targets Legislators’ Per Diems (WSJ) Cuomo, a Democrat, proposed replacing legislative per diems with a more conventional reimbursement practice and making such reimbursement dependent on disclosure of lawmakers’ outside income. The proposals were among the amendments to the executive budget Mr. Cuomo released 30 days after its introduction. Legislators now get a $172-a-night per diem automatically when they travel to Albany. Under Mr. Cuomo’s change, lawmakers would be reimbursed only for their costs and only if they had complied with proposed new disclosure rules. Those would force them to disclose the source of outside income above $1,000 and the identity of any clients for whom they personally have done work who compensated them more than $5,000. Lawmakers also would need to disclose whether services they provided “were related to pending legislation governmental action.”* Cuomo Takes Budget Message to Brooklyn(NY1)



Bharara's Seabury Commission With A Twist
In 1931 the State Legislature Empowered the Seabury Commission to Go After Corruption in the Courts and NYPD, In 2015 the U.S. Attorney Could Be Using A Grand Jury Report to Go After Corruption in the Legislature
The Seabury investigations, was a joint legislative committee formed by the New York State Legislature to probe into corruption in New York City, especially the magistrate's courts and police department in 1931. It led to major changes in the method of arrest, bail and litigation of suspects in New York City. * Federal Prosecutors Launch Assault on Public Corruption in New York State (WSJ) Strategy Could Include Unusual Step of Producing Grand-Jury Report. For years, federal prosecutors have gone after Albany politicians one by one, taking on lawmakers such as Pedro Espada, Carl Kruger and, most recently, Malcolm Smith.Now, federal prosecutors in New York’s Southern District are pursuing a broader strategy—“an assault on the criminal opacity of Albany,” in the words of one Justice Department official. As part of that approach, prosecutors could take the unusual step of producing a grand-jury report on systemic public corruption in the state capital. The broad reach of prosecutors’ interest was evident in the development of the case against former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, and the scope of their investigation is likely to unfurl in coming months—in the form of a report or, more likely, a series of cases.* Preet Bharara's office has at least a dozen prosecutors working on Albany-related public corruption probes(WSJ) * MSNBC's Ari Melber Nabs First Interview with U.S. AttorneyPreet Bharara (Video)* Federal prosecutors have launched “an assault on the criminal opacity of Albany,” in the words of one Justice Department official, and could take the unusual step of producing a grand-jury report on systemic public corruption in the state Capitol.* Bharara: Cuomo Can Talk About Moreland Probe * Preet Bharara Says ‘Unfortunate Percentage’ ofAlbany Politicians Are Corrupt (NYO)* Preet Bharara promises more corruption probes(NYP)“We have a number of investigations going on. And we’ve had them for a long time,”Bharara said.

High Noon The Sheriff Rounds Up the Dark Master of NY Politics 
Bharara Speaks to NY's Sheep (Us) Get Mad As Hell And Don't Take It Anymore
Preet Bharara, speaking at the New York Law School, took direct aim at how deal-making has long been done in the state capital.* U.S. Attorney Blasts Albany Status Quo(NY1) *  Assembly Speaker's Arrest Draws Attention to US Attorney Prosecuting Him (NY1) *Bharara tells publicto demand more of its leaders as Speaker Silver faces possibility of morecharges.(NY1) *Preet riffs on New York for being the ‘sitcom’ state(NYP)

People need to demand more, Bharara says before quoting Edward R Murrow: 'a nation of sheep will beget a government of wolves'* #SheldonSilver Silver charges - time for reform is now. Time for people to demand more from their pols. * "I'm very confused about the Moreland Commission" like many others, Bharara says, done thinking about its powers (doing own investigations) * "The purpose of school is to educate people...if all our schools did was teach to the test, we'd have a bunch of crappy people" -Bharara * People need to demand more, Bharara says before quoting Edward R Murrow: 'a nation of sheep will beget a government of wolves' Bharara: reforms are needed; and we almost had that with the Moreland Commission (audience grumbles)* "A lot of people can't name their state legislators, they can't name 2 of the 3 men in the room" Bharara says, adding public must care. 
.
We Fought the Law and the Law Won
They’re running scared in Albany because New Yorkers have had enough of their rigged games and thievery. Faster than you can say “Sheldon Silver in handcuffs,” the ladies and gentlemen of the state Legislature on Tuesday proclaimed their ardent desire for squeaky-clean government. That’s what happened after the Daily News named 16 members of the Assembly and Senate as pulling down more than $100,000 a year without fully disclosing the sources of their incomes — and this page dubbed them Enemies of Reform. Almost immediately, Senate Republican Majority Leader Dean Skelos declared: “We need full transparency and strong ethics laws that are modeled off of the best practices of 49 other states* #Albany considersa full-time Legislature(Capital)



Skelos the Third Amigo Under Fed Investigation . . .  Shocking Feds Looking at Ties to Real Estate Industry 
Senate leader Dean Skelos is Preet’s new target(NYP) In the latest probe of a high-ranking state legislator, Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos is being investigated by federal authorities over his sources of income, ­according to a new report. Skelos’ connections to real-estate deals were being looked into by US Attorney Preet Bharara, who last week jolted Albany with the arrest of Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, WNBC/Channel 4 reported Thursday. Skelos, the highest ranking Republican in state government, has not been charged with a crime and could not be reached for comment Thursday. The Nassau County, LI, politician serves as a counsel for the law firm Ruskin, Moscou Faltischek, which is engaged in ­real-estate litigation.


U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara’s investigators are examining state Sen. Majority Leader Dean Skelos’ outside income and ties to the real estate industry, but the legal firm employing Skelos said it was not itself being probed, NBC New York reports: * YOU'RE NEXT, PAL! After targeting shady Sheldon Silver, Preet Bharara shifts attention to state Senate boss Dean Skelos and his questionable outside income(NYDN) * Feds investigating NY Senate leader Dean Skelos, sourcestell (WNBC) * Skelos Comes Under Scrutiny(YNN) * NY Senate MajorityLeader Skelos called a report that he's under investigation 'irresponsible'(Newsday) * Skelos Denies Being Contacted By Feds (YNN) * State Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos being investigatednext by U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara: report(WNBC)* Just wanted to remindeveryone that Dean Skelos sent $711K of our tax money to fight subpoenas to hisprivate lawfirm (YNN)


Albany Outside Income Targets
The Daily News calls “enemies of reform” the minority of state legislators that make more than $100,000 from private work and refuse to say who is paying them to do what

Thursday Update New York state legislators open to unveiling their outside income  Hours after the Daily News published the names of 16 lawmakers who made more than $100,000 in outside income, state Senate GOP Leader Dean Skelos issued a statement saying he was 'actively engaged in discussions' with Gov. Cuomo on a package of ethics reforms..”***  At least 16 state lawmakers targets of ethics reform regarding income disclosure (NYDN) Five members of the State Senate, including Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos, and 10 members of the Assembly are targets of new measures being pushed by Cuomo that would limit or eliminate outside income for lawmakers. Each of the 16 named earned at least 100G from legal work or other outside jobs.In addition to Silver and Skelos, the Enemies of Reform are: Assembly members Aravella Simotas and David Weprin of Queens, Chuck Lavine of Long Island, Steve Katz of Westchester, Harry Bronson of Rochester, John McDonald of Albany, Frank Skartados of Orange County,Phil Steck of Schenectady County and Steve Hawley of Orleans County. Also Sens. Michael Ranzenhofer of Erie County, Michael Nozzolio of Seneca County, Philip Boyle and John Flanagan of Long Island and John Sampson of Brooklyn (currently awaiting trial on federal embezzlement charges).


Five members of the State Senate, including Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos, and 10 members of the Assembly are targets of new measures being pushed by Cuomo that would limit or eliminate outside income for lawmakers. Each of the 16 named earned at least 100G from legal work or other outside jobs.* Sen. Jeffrey Klein will seek ban on New York legislators earning outside income(NYDN) 



Klein on Tuesday will push for the ban, and he’s prepared to lead by example by vowing to forgo all other outside work. If his ban is approved, Klein said the state would have to dramatically raise the current base lawmaker pay of $79,500. He said the ban is necessary to restore the public’s trust in the state Legislature.Several other lawmakers, including Senate Independent Democratic Conference Leader Jeff Klein of the Bronx and Sen. Martin Golden (R-Brooklyn), may have also exceeded $100,000 in outside income depending on how high their actual earnings were, records showed. Lawmakers are required to disclose incomes only within certain ranges, not exact amounts.* Enemies of Reform in the New York State Legislature (NYDN Ed) Silver, Skelos and the 14 other lawmakers who make $100,000-plus in outside income without full disclosure. * State Senate Independent Democratic Conference Leader Jeff Klein is voluntarily giving up his work as a lawyer at Klein, Claderoni & Santucci amid Albany’s efforts to root out corruption, NY1 reports  Women's Rights The Times Union writes that the Senate Republicans aremisleading people by saying the so-called Women’s Equality Agenda passed the chamber last month when a plank pertaining to abortion did not make it to the floor:* Skelos: ‘Actively Engaged’ In Ethics Talks (YNN)



Over A Year Before the Charges Against Silver The U.S. Attorney Bharara Ask the Press to Do More Investigative Reporting
The Press Missed the Speaker Silver Corruption Story 


Bharara to Journalist
Investigate Stop Copying My Press Releases 
Preet challenges journos to do investigative reporting (CrainsNY) "Rather than just covering the cases that my office and other offices are already bringing, figure out ways to break new ground and to cover new stories," Bharara said. "Groundbreaking corruption coverage is not just good copy, it's a path to good government." Bharara. The press has a role to play. "Rather than just covering the cases that my office and other offices are already bringing, figure out ways to break new ground and to cover new stories," he said 

Federal grand jury in SDNY returns indictment in U.S. v. Sheldon Silver
Sheldon Silver, officially under indictment (YNN) * The Associated Press reports Silver has been indicted on three charges. More from AP:  "Silver was indicted Thursday (today) by a grand jury in Manhattan federal court. The charges are honest services mail fraud, honest services wire fraud and extortion under the color of his official duties. The Indictment  *Sheldon Silver indictment UPDATE: @ap reporting Silver indicted on threecharges. *Two charges in the complaint brought by US Attorney Preet Bharara last month — a mail fraud conspiracy count and an extortion conspiracy count — were not included in the indictment. A spokesman for Bharara’s office declined to comment on why the counts had been dropped. The missing conspiracy counts mean prosecutors will not argue at trial that there was a secret agreement between Silver and at least one other person as part of the alleged corruption schemes. Prosecutors used the indictment to call for the seizure of Silver’s pension and two homes — the Lower East Side residence he’s lived in for decades and a Catskills retreat. They also want him to forfeit hundreds of thousands of dollars held in bank accounts and investments if convicted, and will target his state pension, too, though it is protected by the state constitution. * Silver’s tainted past comes to light after arrest (News10) * Silver’s heart was in Manhattan, but his LLCs were upstate (TU) * Jamming Lawmakers, Cuomo Links Ethics Legislation To Spending (Updated) (YNN)

\NY Corruption, INC

Bharara's Trifecta: Investigating the Lawmakers, Courts and Governor Same Time 
At least three judges at 60 Centre St. are connected to Silver from the Lower East Side.  Judge Martin Shulman is a former president of Silver’s synagogue, and the two are neighbors in a Grand Street co-op complex. In 1999, the judge was appointed an acting Supreme Court justice by Lippman, then the state’s chief administrative judge.  Shulman has been handling tax-reduction claims at the Centre Street courthouse for at least a dozen years and now presides over most of these cases. Many of these cases were filed by the Goldberg & Iryami law firm.* Shelly’s court (NYP Ed) As The Post reported Sunday, US Attorney Preet Bharara is now investigating the state Supreme Court’s civil division in lower Manhattan. Its courtrooms handled many of the asbestos and real-estate claims that provided Silver with much of his outside income. The stink here is that it isn’t just the plaintiffs Speaker Silver had ties to. He was pals with the judges as well. The most prominent is Jonathan Lippman, whom Shelly has known since childhood. Shelly helped engineer Lippman’s appointment as chief judge of the state Court of Appeals. In that post, Lippman appointed Arthur Luxenberg — yes, of the same Weitz & Luxenberg that was paying Silver — to a committee that helped decide which judges are appointed to the division handling the asbestos cases that are among Weitz & Luxenberg’s specialties. There are also the two landlords who are being represented in the same courtrooms by Silver’s other law firm, Goldberg & Iryami. Their case is being heard by Judge Martin Shulman. Not only does Silver live in the same building and go to the same synagogue as Shulman, Silver helped get Shulman his appointment. No one besides Silver has yet been charged with any wrong-doing. But with a state court now under federal investigation along with the governor’s office and the Legislature, Bharara now has all three branches of New York government in his crosshairs.* Bharara: New York's Honey Badger (Daily Public) The United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York Preet Bharara has the ability and willingness to do what no elected official in New York can or will.  In fact, we should be thankful that Governor Cuomo disbanded his Moreland Commission on Public Corruption, enabling its investigatory files to be picked up by Bharara’s team of federal prosecutors and the FBI. The US Attorney, after all, is an appointed federal law enforcement official, unbeholden to any of the parties, factions, personalities, or pressure groups that maintain a corrupt chokehold on New York’s body politic.  Preet Bharara is New York’s honey badger, completely unconcerned with the toes on which his investigations might be treading. *If there is indeed an investigation of his outside income – and he’s not saying there is – Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos will cooperate.



Bharara: The Man Who Got Silver, What is Next? 

Saturday Night Massacre Destroyed Nixon, Killing Moreland Took Down Silver

Stranger Cuomo insisted again that his Moreland Commission was a success, despite the fact that he disbanded it and would have let Silver off the hook.
Federal case againstSilver has something Bruno case lacked: cooperating witnesses. * The bribery case against Silver raises questions about whether he pulled his punches in 2011 negotiations on rent regulations at the expense of New Yorkers in rent stabilized apartments, ProPublica’s Justin Elliott: * Former AG Vacco takes twitter shot at current AG Schneiderman:"Was big wig on Moreland but despite all his rhetoric-he takes no action."

Preet nabs state senator’s son on tax cheating(NYP) Manhattan US Attorney Preet Bharara has carved another notch on his belt in his ongoing quest to weed corruption out of Albany politics. Matthew Libous, son of state Senate Deputy Majority Leader Tom Libous (R-Binghamton), was found guilty at a bench trial Monday by White Plains federal Judge Vincent Briccetti of underreporting $69,950 of his income on federal tax returns for 2007, 2008 and 2009.


Some staff members who work for Silver, who faces corruption charges, have been subpoenaed by federal prosecutors, a source told Newsdaybut it wasn’t clear how many Silver’s decision to quit — amid calls from fellow Democrats to do so — came less than a week after being busted by the feds for allegedly using his public office to amass millions of dollars in kickbacks and no-show jobs.


Looks Like Bharara Wanted to Make A Statement About Moreland Before the Debate 
“The important thing here is that thatwe have the files.” @sarbetter @WCNY *Bharara: “When you're trying to solve a problem, you need a certain amount of longevity and you need ... some independence.”* Bharara: "I have joked .. that Albany is at the intersection of ambition and greed." Bharara on his next move: "I'm not thinking about that right now." Says there's an eternal well of stuff to prosecute. Leads from multiple Moreland cases + whatever he's doing re Cuomo RT @NickReisman Bharara: "You're assuming there's one investigation." Gulp With Cuomo about to debate his opponents, Bharara talksMoreland in a radio interview  * Despite the recent polls, anger in upstate New York over the SAFE Act and lingering questions that remain from the disbanding of the Moreland Commission make it possible for Astorino to win, the Post’s Seth Lipsky writes:

'Sopranos' actor backs Astorino, calls Cuomo a'big pussy'  * Here's my full write-up of Preet Bharara's interview on@CapPressRoom  Bharara says there is "precious little disclosure" that leads to corruption and conflicts of interest. Bharara says "unfettered outside income" is a "recipe for what we have in NY which is a little bit of a corruption disaster" Bharara says anti-corruption commissions, generally, need "longevity" and a degree of independence. Bharara won't comment on question regarding whether Cuomo's use of political leverage via Moreland Commission constitutes a crime. * With Cuomo about to debate his opponents, Bharara talksMoreland in a radio interview  * Before Cuomo's debate, Bharara hints at many probes (CrainsNY) * Cuomo's post-Moreland reforms, so far, are a bust (Capital)
Zephyr Teachout ‏@ZephyrTeachout 



New Yorkers shouldn't respond to Cuomo's mismanagement of Ebola, Moreland, testing, etc by staying out. We need a Dem Senate. 9 close races.


Bharara Pushes City Hall to Fix Rikers  



Moving the Media Aways From Moreland During the Cuomo Campaign
Preet Bharara, the top federal prosecutor in Manhattan, questioned the commitment of New York City officials to make meaningful reforms at Rikers Island, which has come under scrutiny for a “culture of violence,” The New York Times reports: http://goo.gl/yHgwDU  * As New York City’s Department of Corrections seeks to beat back controversy, Commissioner Joseph Ponte is replacing a top staffer—Chief of Staff Sara Taylor—who is a holdover from the Bloomberg administration, the Observer reports: http://goo.gl/U8j6WC  Preet Bharara threatens legal action over jail conditions(NYP)* Prosecutor Warns That Rikers Island Problems May Prompt U.S. Lawsuit (NYT) The New YorkJail Scandal Continues (NYT)  News that city officials sanitized a report about Rikers Island raises many questions on whether the city is ready to reform the jail system.* NYT says Rikers scandal raises questions about both Bloomberg and BdB admins De Blasio Seeks to Enlist Outside Help in Fixing Rikers(NYT)



Bharara: Consultants Needs to Be Held Accountable 
“As the jury found, Lowe participated in a series of back-room deals in which the bridge of corruption extended between the world of elected officials and their complicit consultants,” he said. “Consultants, like elected officials, need to be held accountable." Preet Bharara, the United States attorney* Prosecutor Preet Bharara prepares for the spotlight(CrainsNY)Later this month, U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara will do a series of live interviews at events in New York City, a new setting for the high profile prosecutor who doesn’t shy away from the press

More On US Attorney Preet Bharara


New York City federal prosecutor Preet Bharara not exactly discouraging attorney general buzz | Fox News vi

U.S Attorney Bharara Kills Pension of Corrupt Pol

Mr. Martinez, who was convicted in a federal corruption case, made the agreement under a new policy of the United States attorney’s office in Manhattan. * Convicted councilman to forfeit pension in new push from U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara(NYDN) * Sampson unfit for office because of corruption charges: rivals(NYP)
Sweet, Preet (NYDN)
Bharara wins a fight to claw back criminal politicians' pensions

A century of Moreland (TU) As some New York governors have found, investigations don't always go as planned

The NYT is Counting On an Un-Elected Prosecutor to Clean Up Albany
It’s not just Mr. Bharara’s job to clean up Albany. It is up to the voters to decide whether to go on endorsing business as usual. As the indictments and embarrassments continue (26 at latest count since 1999), New Yorkers will have to decide if their representatives are politicians they can trust, including Mr. Cuomo. * U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara appeared on PBS’ “Charlie Rose” and said his office will succeed in cleaning up corruption in Albany where the Moreland Commission failed “because if other people aren’t going to do it, then we’re going to do it,” Gannett Albany reports



The Only Man Who Can Clean Up Albany
When U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara was asked about his investigation into Governor Andrew Cuomo's now-defunct Moreland Commission on Public Corruption last month on The Charlie Rose Show, he gave what can be seen as a stern assessment of good governance efforts in New York."Our interest above all other interests is to make sure that the job is getting done - because we are the people who do our jobs," said Bharara of rooting out corruption.Bharara's comments could be taken as a critique of ethics enforcement and reform in Albany as a whole as all of the state's agencies and other entities that can police political corruption appear restrained or restricted from actually doing the job. Thus, Bharara's federal office enters yet again to pick up the slack.* The real Moreland takeaway (NYDN Ed) We need public campaign financing* US Attorney Preet Bharara told the New York Times: “I have no interest and desire to seek political office…Now or ever.” In Five Years, a Federal Prosecutor Has Taken On Terrorism, Corruption and Cuomo(NYT) During his tenure as the United States attorney in Manhattan, Preet Bharara has embraced the media spotlight while fighting attempts to politicize justice.

WSJ Says Bharara Goes Rogue Over Cuomo's Moreland Corruption  

POLITICO’s Jeff Smith says the Moreland mess has Cuomo in “serious trouble” and is “far more serious than some people believe.”  CUOMO’S GIFT TO BHARARA -- Capital’s Blake Zeff: “The governor  may have given a gift to U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara when he and his top staff engineered positive statements from former Moreland Commission members, a move that could be construed as witness-tampering, a crime under federal law. “When the feds have expressed an interest in a matter, circling back and trying to get people to change or clarify their accounts really is a dangerous move,” Columbia Law professor Daniel Richman, a former federal prosecutor in the Southern District,told Business Week last week. “Corporate counsels are generally careful about this, and one would have thought that the governor’s office would be too.”

Prosecutor Plays Hardball in Cuomo Inquiry(WSJ) Bharara Publicly Criticizes New York Governor, Keeps Justice Department Out of Loop. Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara has charted a confrontational and independent course in his investigation of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo's disbanding of an anticorruption commission, former prosecutors and political observers said. Mr. Bharara has launched a broad inquiry, including publicly criticizing the governor's dissolution of the commission and using tough prosecutorial tactics, all without seeking approval from the Justice Department in Washington, according to people familiar with the matter. Prosecutors customarily inform the department of matters of national importance, current and former federal officials say, though the Manhattan U.S. attorney's office, arguably the most powerful of the 93 nationwide, is given more free rein. 

Prosecutors are investigating allegations that the governor's aides sought to influence the commission's investigations, including whether they tried to stop it from referring some cases for prosecution, according to people familiar with the matter.  Mr. Bharara's tactics have included criticizing Mr. Cuomo during a radio interview in April for agreeing to disband the commission in exchange for lawmakers passing the ethics-overhaul bill that he sought. Mr. Cuomo has defended the deal. Mr. Bharara also issued preservation notices to state lawmakers and to the governor's office, instructing them to retain all records and documents related to the Moreland Commission. Generally, former federal prosecutors said, U.S. attorneys simply issue subpoenas. He took what former prosecutors called a rare step when he sent letters to Mr. Cuomo's office and the commission, saying the administration's contact with commissioners could represent witness tampering or obstruction of justice. Prosecutors generally don't give warning that actions could constitute crimes in the midst of continuing investigations.  * The Moreland Commission controversy may be starting to drain Gov. Cuomo's campaign acct according to the Daily News.(NYDN)












































































As Cuomo's Moreland Shut Down Scandal Rages the U.S. Attorney Takes Credit for Cleaning Up Corruption in the Courtroom

A jury today found ex-Queens Councilman Dan Halloran guilty on all five counts of the corruption charges he faced stemming in part from his role in a bribery scheme to sell the GOP line in the 2013 NYC mayoral primary.

Dan Halloran guilty of masterminding failed $200K bribery scheme(NYP)
Ex-New York Councilman Is Convicted in Corruption Case(NYT)
Ex-Queens City Councilman Daniel Halloran convicted on corruption, bribery ...(NYDN)
Former Councilman Found Guilty of Bribery(WSJ)




US Attorney Preet Bharara issued the following statement:
A Dig At Cuomo?
“With today’s verdict of guilty reached by an impartial and independent jury, the clean-up of corruption in New York continues in courtrooms.


Malcolm Smith or Vinny Tabone?
As the jury unanimously found, Daniel Halloran played a key role in two distinct political corruption schemes: first, for $20,000, Halloran was willing and able to serve as a go-between to deliver bribes to political party officials, and second he also took nearly $25,000 in cash and illegal campaign contributions to steer $80,000 in City Council money to other bribe payers.”

“Dan Halloran was the lone defendant in the trial that just ended in his conviction, but he is unfortunately not alone in a crowded field of New York officials who are willing to sell out their offices for self-enrichment.”

“This Office will continue the vigorous prosecution of political corruption to secure for the people of New York – regardless of party affiliation – what they deserve: the honest labors of their elected representatives. And we will continue to partner with the FBI, whose outstanding investigative work in this case




US Attorney Seeks Pension of Former Councilman Convicted of Stealing Public Cash

NYT Says Only Hope to Clean Up Corruption In Albany is U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara  

Why Does the NYT Ignore Bharara Plea to Help Him Clean Up Corruption?
 
Media Ignores U.S. Attorney Plea to Investigate Corruption to Improve Govt
Bharara: No Investigative Reporting Equals More Corruption
Bharara to Journalist
Investigate Stop Copying My Press Releases
"Rather than just covering the cases that my office and other
offices are already bringing, figure out ways to break new ground and to cover new stories," Bharara said. "Groundbreaking corruption coverage is not just good copy, it's a path to good government." Bharara

Another Indictment in Albany(NYT Ed)What happened to Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s promise to clean up the capital?  It is often said that New York’s state legislators leave office only when they die, retire or get indicted — which comes pretty close to the truth. Since 1999, according to Citizens Union, 26 state legislators have left office either because they have been charged with a crime or they have been shamed into resigning for ethical lapses. The latest to face indictment is State Senator Thomas Libous of Binghamton. Mr. Libous is a top Republican who is also a close associate of Gov. Andrew Cuomo. He was charged this week with lying to federal agents about a plot to get his son a job at a law firm in return for steering business to the firm. Mr. Libous called the charges “very disappointing” and vowed to fight them.This indictment adds another stain to Albany’s sullied reputation. And it stands as a reminder that Mr. Cuomo has failed to make good on his promise to clean up Albany when he was elected nearly four years ago.  In fact, he set back attempts to clean up the legislative swamp this spring when he shut down the Moreland Commission to Investigate Public Corruption. He closed the commission that appeared to be investigating legislators’ conflicts of interest, among other problems, in return for a feeble “reform” that tinkered with bribery laws and set up a pilot project for public financing of campaigns.Since then, Preet Bharara, the United States attorney who charged Mr. Libous, has taken possession of the commission’s files. His office may offer the best hope for cleaning up Albany since other ethics commissions established in recent years by state lawmakers are toothless. In a statement released with Tuesday’s indictment of Mr. Libous, Mr. Bharara said that “public servants should serve the public first, not themselves and their families.” That would seem like a pretty basic code of ethics, but it is still too rarely followed in New York.
zephyrteachout ‏@zephyrteachout 

The New York Times editorial joins @NYDNHammond's commentary last week, blaming Gov. Cuomo for his failures in addressing corruption.

JCOPE Designed to Fail
Charmian Neary ‏@CharmianNeary 
@CTLizB Like when Shelly was caught lying to them and they punted?…





Bharara to Journalist:  Stop Copying My Press Releases; No Investigative Reporting Equals More Corruption
Preet challenges journos to do investigative reporting (CrainsNY) "Rather than just covering the cases that my office and other offices are already bringing, figure out ways to break new ground and to cover new stories," Bharara said. "Groundbreaking corruption coverage is not just good copy, it's a path to good government." Bharara. The press has a role to play. "Rather than just covering the cases that my office and other offices are already bringing, figure out ways to break new ground and to cover new stories," he said 


* Even if U.S. District Attorney Preet Bharara were to find that the Cuomo administration interfered with the recently disbanded Moreland Commission, some legal experts doubt a federal prosecution would be possible, Crain’s reports: http://goo.gl/SFUSGD

EXCLUSIVE: FBI investigating donations to NYCLASS from men close to Mayor de Blasio that may have been used toward anti-Christine Quinn campaigners (NYDN) Two men with strong ties to Mayor de Blasio donated cash to the NYCLASS animal rights group leading the crusade to ban carriage horses. The animal rights group then donated identical amounts to anti-Christine Quinn campaigners. The transactions are now under FBI investigation. The mayoral race had not yet come to a boil, but Democrat Christine Quinn was already feeling the heat.A political action committee called New York City Is Not for Sale had spent most of April and May 2013 bashing Quinn in television ads. Her poll numbers were sliding, but the anti-Quinn campaign wanted to rough her up even more. That’s when a curious set of financial transactions quietly took place — transactions that are now being investigated by the FBI. On May 21, lawyer Jay Eisenhofer gave $50,000 to NYCLASS, the animal rights group leading the crusade to ban carriage horses. Ten days later, on May 31, NYCLASS gave an equal amount — $50,000, to the anti-Quinn group. On June 1, NYCLASS received another large donation, this time for $175,000. It came from UNITE HERE! — a labor union headed by John Wilhelm. Two days after that, on June 3, NYCLASS sent the same amount, $175,000, to the anti-Quinn campaign. Both Wilhelm and Eisenhofer have long-standing ties to Bill de Blasio, one of Quinn’s Democratic rivals in the mayoral campaign.


Has Bharara Investigation of Moreland Empowed the WFP in State Government? A Criminal Investigation of Moreland?
Now Cuomo's Pushing for Full public campaign finance

Team Cuomo's Secret emails
Good government group calls for investigation of Cuomo administration's emails(NYDN)A Washington, D.C-based good government group is calling for an investigation of the Cuomo administration’s use of private emails and BlackBerry PIN messages to conduct official business.In a letter to state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington Executive Director Melanie Sloan said the administration’s use of private emails and untraceable text messages appears shields the contents from public disclosure and may violate state law.* CREW called on AG Eric Schneiderman to investigate Cuomo and his aides for using private email accounts to conduct government business.* After Pledge Of Sunlight, Gov. Cuomo Officials Keep Their Email In The Shadows

Thursday Even if Southern District U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara were to find Cuomo’s administration interfered with the recently disbanded Moreland Commission, some legal experts doubt a federal prosecution would be possible.
Wednesday Cuomo Update



Cuomo's Two Front War
Federal prosecutors issued a grand jury subpoena for emails, text messages and other records from all members of the Moreland Commission, seeking information about the panel’s formation, how it was run, overseen and closed
U.S. Said to Seek Records From Anticorruption Panel’s Members(NYT) Prosecutors have issued a grand jury subpoena related to the so-called Moreland Commission that Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo abruptly shut down in March, people briefed on the matter said. Federal prosecutors in Manhattan have issued a grand jury subpoena seeking emails, text messages and other records from all the members of the anticorruption commission that Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo abruptly shut down in March, three people briefed on the matter said on Monday.* NYT: Preet Bharara is just starting with Moreland Commission (LoHud)

More on the Moreland Investigation 



A Tale of Two Media Coverages
NYC's Stepford Wives Silence About Election Tampering . . . 

Media NY & Pols We Don't Want to Know
Where the Call for An Investigation By the Media of HorseGate?
Where is the Outrage Over the Possible Attempt to Steal NY Democracy?
 De Blasio says he’s unfamiliar with investigation into NYCLASS(Capital) "I am not," the mayor said when two reporters asked him, on his way into City Hall Friday afternoon, if he is familiar with the cover story of Friday's Daily News, which first reported on the probe. Asked whether anyone in his administration or political campaign has been called, he simply answered. * This court decision takes the hinges off the already wide-open campaign finance floodgates (Poughkeepsie Journal)

 
Bharara Who Already Has the Closed Moreland Files, Just Subpoenaed JCOPE
 Preet Bharara asks for all complaints filed with NYS ethics commission (NYDN)  Manhattan US Attorney Preet Bharara has served a subpoena on the state ethics commission seeking information on all complaints the body has received since its creation in 2011, sources say. The grand jury subpoena is part of an investigation into state government corruption Bharara has been undertaking, a source familiar with the subpoena said. The “witness subpoena" delivered two weeks ago does not request email or communications, as reported by one news outlet. .A second source said while Bharara is interesting in seeing the complaints against specific officials, he also is looking into whether JCOPE was directed to sit on any of the probes. Created in 2011, JCOPE handles ethics complaints against the executive branch and lawmakers. By law, much of what it does is in secret. The panel cannot confirm investigations or even if they closed one without bringing charges.It’s biggest case was a finding that now former Assemblyman Vito Lopez routinely sexually harassed aides. Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver was criticized for approving a secret $103,000 taxpayer-funded settlement with two victims.* U.S. Attorney Subpoenas Records of Ethics Panel(NYT)

 Report: Bharara Subpoena Seeks Ethics Complaints(YNN) JCOPE, unlike the Moreland Commission, has members represented by the governor’s office as well as the different legislative conferences in the Senate and Assembly. * Feds widen crackdown on New York political corruption(NYP) * Bharara’s broadening probe of pay-to-play Albany corruption is sure to send shockwaves through the state capital in an election year. Bharara blasted Cuomo for scuttling the commission before its investigations were completed. Cuomo told Crain’s New York he was not interfering with Moreland investigations because it was “my commission…I can’t interfere with it”.JCOPE came under fire in 2013 when they released their report on Vito Lopez, the Brooklyn Assemblyman accused of sexually harassing several female staffers. The report showed Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver tried to cover up a $103,000 settlement payment. However, Silver himself was never the subject of an investigation.



NYT: Albany Will Never Clean Itself Up
Mr. Cuomo’s Gift to the Cynics(NYT Ed) So much for the governor’s promise to fight corruption in Albany. He shut down the independent ethics commission before it had a chance to do its job. Nine months ago, Gov. Andrew Cuomo looked New Yorkers in the eye and said, “Trust is everything to me.” Don’t believe it. Mr. Cuomo uttered those words in a campaign-style TV ad announcing that he was creating an independent Moreland commission of “top law enforcement officials” to “investigate and prosecute wrongdoing” in New York State politics. “The politicians in Albany won’t like it,” Mr. Cuomo said, “but I work for the people, and I won’t stop fighting until we all have a government that we can trust.”

The U.S. Attorney Takes Control of the Moreland Files
Well, Mr. Cuomo stopped fighting. He has pulled the plug on the commission. Its website still promises the delivery of a report or reports by next January, but that’s not going to happen. Whatever records, files and leads it has accumulated over nine months have been taken away in trucks sent by the United States attorney for the Southern District of New York, Preet Bharara. Well, Mr. Cuomo stopped fighting. He has pulled the plug on the commission. Its website still promises the delivery of a report or reports by next January, but that’s not going to happen. Whatever records, files and leads it has accumulated over nine months have been taken away in trucks sent by the United States attorney for the Southern District of New York, Preet Bharara.

The Governor Used Moreland As A  bargaining Chip To Pass His Budget
Mr. Bharara said on Thursday that he was taking over the commission’s work, with a sharp rebuke to Mr. Cuomo for dismantling it so early. In a letter to the commission this month, Mr. Bharara said it was hard to understand why Mr. Cuomo would shut down its “aggressive, active and ongoing” work before it was finished. He voiced concern at the appearance that the investigations “have been bargained away as part of the negotiated arrangement between legislative and executive leaders.” Commission members had already complained that the group was subjected to meddling and micromanaging by Mr. Cuomo’s office. One member told The Times that top Cuomo aides — his secretary, Lawrence Schwartz, and counsel, Mylan Denerstein — “would routinely call and say, ‘How can you issue a subpoena like this?’ or ‘These people shouldn’t be on it.’ ”

Mr. Cuomo’s aides dismissed reports of interference in the Moreland Commission by the governor as “fiction.”
The Daily News reported last fall that Mr. Cuomo’s office had reined in the commission when it was trying to investigate tax breaks for the powerful real estate industry, persuading it not to subpoena the Real Estate Board of New York, whose leaders gave generously to the governor’s campaigns and supported the Committee to Save New York, a business coalition that spent millions on ads supporting the Cuomo agenda. Mr. Cuomo’s aides dismissed reports of interference as “fiction.” Mr. Cuomo insists that the commission was no longer needed because — believe it or not — Albany’s ethics problems have been solved, by a package of reforms that was part of the negotiated budget deal.

Last Week True News Said Albany Kills the Investigator, Friday the NYT, NYP, DN Agrees
 
But the changes — like tougher penalties for bribery — don’t come close to the large-scale reforms Albany needs. They don’t fix New York’s notoriously weak campaign-finance laws, reduce contribution limits or close loopholes that leave the capital awash in money, the fuel for its corrupt pay-to-play culture. Instead of enacting statewide public campaign financing, the package created a pilot program that provides public funds for one office, state comptroller, just for this year. Mr. Cuomo calls this a victory, but it only proves cynics right: Albany will never clean itself up. The commission should have been given the time it needed to complete its daunting task, wherever it led. It should have been allowed to put cases before prosecutors and a spotlight on the many rotten and entirely legal practices used by Albany politicians and lobbyists for their own gain.  That job was abandoned. We’re still waiting for a government we can trust, but Mr. Cuomo has moved on.


NY Government Officials Fear Emails, Misread Bharara Warning . . . Albany Ignored Bharara Warning
 
Sunday Update
Members of Gov. Cuomo’s anti-corruption commission detail frustrating environment curbed by administration (NYDN) The Daily News spoke with close to 10 sources tied to the soon-to-be-defunct panel, and a number of them denounced what they said was interference from Cuomo's office. One commission member was so angry that he wouldn't take a call from The News, signaling through a secretary that he was afraid of what he might say.Another source called it the worst time in her professional career."It was an exercise in frustration," said a third source.
The commission formed to root out corruption in state government was often divided, with the investigators on one side and Cuomo's $175,000-a-year executive director Regina Calcaterra on the other. "There was no trust there," said the first commission source. "It was pretty widely understood that anything Regina Calcaterra knew, it would immediately be on the desks of" top Cuomo aides Larry Schwartz and Mylan Denerstein. Denerstein was described as "measured" but Schwartz as aggressive. "I heard the word 'bully' mentioned more than once," said the source. The panel's zeal to investigate was repeatedly curbed by the governor's office, the source said. The commission wanted to subpoena prior ethics complaints from its ineffectual predecessor, the Legislative Ethics Commission, but was ordered not to, sources said. The frustration mounted when subpoenas were held back from entities with ties to Cuomo, including the powerful Real Estate Board of New York.Another subpoena earmarked for the state Democratic Party was initially killed. And one that had actually been served on the ad firm the party used to promote Cuomo's agenda was rescinded after Cuomo aides erupted in fury, the sources said. After the Daily News detailed the problems in a series of stories in September, the commissioners met behind closed doors, with some threatening to resign and others vowing to go public if the pressure from Cuomo's office didn't stop, sources said.The commission co-chairs, Kathleen Rice, William Fitzpatrick and Milton Williams, relayed the panel's frustration to the governor. The interference eased.Fitzpatrick acknowledged "input" on some decisions from Team Cuomo, but denied the commission was ordered to withhold subpoenas.At least two other commission members back him up. "I think a lot of times (Cuomo aides) were trying to be helpful," said one.


NY state government officials shunning e-mail: sources(NYP) Government officials are so worried about leaving an electronic trail as investigations swirl around the capital that some are now shunning e-mail, sources said Friday. “I sent an e-mail to someone and they called me back, ‘Are you out of your mind? Never e-mail me again,’ ” said one lobbyist, recalling a recent conversation with a high-ranking official. He and others are going back to old-fashioned forms of communication: Cellphones are out and land lines are back in, the lobbyist said. “They’re more secure,” he explained. The fear instilled into Albany’s political world comes from US Attorney Preet Bharara, who has taken possession of the records compiled by the anti-corruption Moreland Commission panel.

More on Moreland 
More on US Attorney Preet Bharara 


NYP  and Daily News
Also Cheers the Federal Investigation of the Albany Men's Club
Sitting Preet-y(NYP) A funny thing happened on the way to disbanding the Moreland Commission Gov. Cuomo set up to investigate the state Legislature: It may end up as a federal investigation of the governor. Now someone outside the Albany men’s club will be taking a closer look at what Moreland unearthed. While it is true that the Moreland Commission was supposed to be temporary as Cuomo said, New Yorkers expected it to finish its work and not have the rug pulled out from underneath it * U.S. Attorney Takes Over State Probe(WSJ)

DN: Bharara Goes After Albany's Culture of Corruption

DN: Go, Preet, go
Happy hunting” writes the Daily News Editorial Board, saying Bharara must do his darndest to salvage the Moreland Commission’s work and follow the evidence wherever it leads, no matter to which branch of government. Happy hunting to Bharara, who must now do his darndest to salvage a sweeping Capitol fumigation that never should have been abandoned. Few people put elected thieves behind bars with the prowess of Bharara. It was, in fact, a flurry of indictments from his office early last year that helped prompt Cuomo to demand reform from the Legislature in the first place. Give Bharara loads of credit for frontally challenging the deal in a letter to the commission.

“If you begin investigations and you begin them with great fanfare, you don’t unceremoniously take them off the table without causing questions to be asked,” Bharara told WNYC’s Brian Lehrer. The commission — knowing better than to pick a fight — responded by agreeing to turn over all of its case files, giving Bharara free rein to comb through, top to bottom. Bharara should go further and spotlight standards and practices that may not qualify as bribery or fraud but are nonetheless creating a climate rife with double-dealing, conflicts of interest and influence-peddling. An especially egregious example: the sweetheart tax breaks awarded to the One57 luxury condos in Manhattan — after its developers and others pumped hundreds of thousands of dollars into various Albany campaign accounts. The commission had also subpoenaed records of lawmakers’ murky outside income, including upwards of $500,000 that Assembly boss Sheldon Silver collects from a personal injury firm, and at least $250,000 that Senate chief Dean Skelos is paid by a Long Island firm that also happens to lobby the Legislature. The Albany housecleaning is dead. Long live the Albany housecleaning. * 'WE'RE GOING TO SEE WHAT THE FACTS ARE:' U.S. Attorney won't rule out ethics probe into whether Gov. Cuomo interfered in anti-corruption commission(NydN) * ‘Not my choice’(Capital) Moreland chair on Cuomo, Silver and the load of Albany dirt headed to the U.S. attorney* Republican gubernatorial candidate Rob Astorino is trying to raise money off of editorials slamming Cuomo for shuttering the commission.


Will Bharara Go After Cuomo's Pay to Play Real Estate Deals?

Cuomo Tax Breaks Development
Gov. Cuomo received $76,000 from real estate investors weeks before giving their property a tax break on bill (NYDN) Three partners at Fisher Brothers, which owns the New York Curb Exchange at 86 Trinity Place, each gave at least $25,000 to Cuomo weeks before he approved the tax breaks. The location is one of five Manhattan properties that was singled out for tax relief in a January bill.* Months before J. Patrick Barrett was named to Cuomo’s Moreland Commission to investigate public corruption, he threw a fundraising birthday party for friend and soon-to-be commission co-chair, Onondaga County DA William Fitzpatrick, netting him thousands in campaign cash.* Follow Cuomo’s money, too (NYDN Ed) As it explores how luxury condos got big tax breaks, the Moreland Commission must also probe donations to the governor's campaign* * City developer, long-time donor to Gov. Cuomo, increased donations when it stood to save $35 million with new tax breaks(NYDN) Corporations and people affiliated with Extell Development made more than $300,000 in donations to Cuomo since May 2012, around the same time the governor and lawmakers were weighing a housing bill that would save Extell millions over a decade.* Two corporations tied to Extell Development each contributed $50,000 to Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s campaign the same day the Assembly passed a housing bill with tax breaks for five developers, including Extell, the Daily News reports:

No Investigative Journalism Allows Corruption to Grow U.S. Attorney Bharara (Update)

NY's Media Gang Ignores Bharara
As the media goes after every detail of Gov Christie defense of closing a bridge, not a Preet is heard about Albany Speaker Silver and the rest of the crooks cutting Moreland's investigation funds.  New York City's media seems to have an on and off switch on investigative journalism or who they go after.  Ask Liu or Spitzer. Every elected official and the flacks, media barrons and prosecutors who protect them understand that only media attention to government scandals can cause enough public pressure to an demand investigation. Over 90% of media coverage are press releases or tipped stories from lobbyists, flacks or elected officials. Today's new generation of journalists think publishing information first is more important than independent analysis to inform the public what is really going on. They have become dependent on the lobbyists, flacks to get them their fix of breaking news which usually is limited to who an elected officials will appoint, new programs and the spin of the day coming from people payed to cover up the truth. Helps create batzarro politics where pols take credit for what they promise not how well they deliver services or make proper decisions.


The U.S. Attorney Who Has Put Corrupt Pols in Jail Does Not Understand Why the Moreland Commission Was Ended

Albany Games Corruption
U.S. Attorney Criticizes Cuomo’s Closing of Panel(NYT) A commission on public corruption, whose credibility had been questioned by watchdog groups, was disbanded by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo as part of budget negotiations. Mr. Bharara sent the commission’s chairmen and top officials a letter saying he was “disappointed to learn” of the commission’s “premature end,” acknowledging that its work was “aggressive, active and ongoing,” but incomplete, and calling its shutdown “difficult to understand.” In the letter sent April 3, Mr. Bharara asked the chairmen and the commission’s staff — all of whom were appointed by the governor — whether Mr. Cuomo had abandoned his commitment to fight corruption for a short-term political gain. Bharara will take possession of all of the panel’s case files. *Bharara: "I don't have any interest in politics" Bharara won't rule out ethics investigation into Cuomo's involvement in Moreland Commission * U.S. Attny Bharara Doesn't Rule Out Probe into Cuomo-Moreland (Audio, WNYC) * Bharara on the premature end of Cuomo’s ethics commission(Capital) * ‘Rome Wasn’t Built in a Day:’ Preet Bharara Continues Cuomo Criticism on Anti-Corr...(NYO)


Daily News Hinting Bharara Vs. Cuomo, Ben Smith Bharara and Shumer Vs Cuomo
Preet Bharara won't rule out ethics probe into Gov. Cuomo(NYDN) US Attorney Preet Bharara of the southern district Thursday did not rule out investigating whether Gov. Cuomo and his aides improperly intervened with the investigations undertaken by the governor's anti-corruption commission. "We're going to look at the documents, we're going to see what the facts are, and if there are questions that are appropriate to ask, as I think the public knows by now, there are strong-willed and aggressive--but fair--people in my office who will ask those questions," Bharara said during an appearance Thursday morning on WNYC public radio's "The Brian Lehrer Show."The News also detailed last fall involvement by Cuomo and his aides in the operation of the Moreland Commission. Cuomo aides, the News reported, ordered the panel to withhold certain subpoenas that were set to go to interests with ties to the governor, including the Real Estate Board of New York and the state Democratic Party. The News also reported last fall that Cuomo and his staff met directly with the commission's co-chairs last September. Bharara called such revelations troubling, if true.* Who gets possession of the NSA analytics software? Cuomo, Schneideman, Bharara? What's nexus btwn bills, donations, etc.?
So Schumer & Cuomo worlds have some overlap... but are they about to go to war? Any chance Preet wrote that letter without consulting Chuck?*
Schumer spox : "There is no way Preet would consult Chuck on something like this..." 1/2


Hidden Party Housekeeping Accounts Continue

Ending Moreland Fiction?
“Gives the appearance, although I am sure this is not the intent, that investigations potentially significant to the public interest have been bargained away as part of the negotiated arrangement between legislative and executive leaders.” Bharara

“The sequence of these events gives the appearance, although I am sure this is not the intent, that investigations potentially significant to the public interest have been bargained away as part of the negotiated arrangement between legislative and executive leaders,” he wrote.Mr. Bharara requested that commissioners and staff members preserve the panel’s investigative files.On Wednesday, in a letter addressed to the 24 members of the commission, Mr. Bharara reported that the panel’s chairmen — William J. Fitzpatrick, the Onondaga County district attorney, and Milton L. Williams Jr., a former state and federal prosecutor in Manhattan — had agreed to turn over the files. The sudden turn of events raised the possibility that Mr. Cuomo’s dealings with the commission, which once seemed likely to burnish his reputation as a reformer, could now become an embarrassment for the governor. A spokeswoman for the governor, Melissa DeRosa, said: “The Moreland Commission was designed and formed to be a short-term, temporary commission to recommend and spur legislative action, which it did successfully. The order establishing the temporary commission directed referrals upon its conclusion to the attorney general, district attorneys and U.S. attorneys and that’s what it is doing.” The move by the United States attorney, Preet Bharara, amounted to an unusual rebuke of Mr. Cuomo, a former prosecutor himself, who swept into office four years ago promising to clean up what many have called a culture of corruption in Albany. Asked to comment, Matt Wing, another spokesman for Mr. Cuomo, said, “The Times’s dependence on anonymous sources is once again turning their stories into fiction.”* * The Moreland Commission spent more than $1 million since its creation last July, but, with its disbanding through the state budget, it’s unclear what return on investment New York taxpayers will receive, the Gotham Gazette writes. And, in other news, Gov. Andrew Cuomo‘s administration does not appear to be a fan of the Times, lashing out against today’s report, on criticism against his anti-corruption efforts, by declaring, “The Times’s dependence on anonymous sources is once again turning their stories into fiction.”
Why did Giuliani keep the taping of Sharpton quiet all these years?
Giuliani implies he was involved in helping wire Al Sharpton in the 80s * Rudy Giuiani Implies He Was Involved in Wiring Al Sharpton(NYO)


"Preet Bharara stands tall vs. Cuomo's Moreland Commission shutdown"



More Meat for Bharara

Before the Moreland Commission was mothballed this spring, the panel's staffers pressed Albany County District Attorney David Soares to pursue their investigations and leads, the Times Union’s Jim Odato reports:

 


In NY Pols Kill the Corruption Investigators
Is Liu Leading the Fight To Block A CFB Investigation of the Role Citizens United PACs, Lobbyiss Played in the 2013 Campaign?

NY is so corrupt the DAs look the other way and investigations of political corruption are stopped in the political system with the media looking the other way


 Wednesday
The Moreland Commission is quietly shutting down.

 Monday Corruption Update
A PAC formed by Assemblyman Kieran Michael Lalor for Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans running for Congress raised nearly $1.8 million, though just $91,500 was used for candidates, the New York Post writes: 

Sunday Update
Gov. Cuomo calls in his probers, and Albany keeps dancing. Secrets and money go together in Albany — and the parties that have traded in both can rest easier with the demise of Gov. Cuomo’s anti-corruption commission. "Despite the CFB’s accolades, [former city Controller John] Liu’s lawsuit brings to the fore a larger question that has been quietly debated by campaign finance experts and candidates for some time now: whether the weight of carrying the campaign finance reform banner has become too heavy a burden for the agency," C&S reports 

William Fitzpatrick, a co-chair of the Moreland Commission, said the panel would refer criminal findings to other agencies and eventually make them public if the Legislature shuts it down, the Syracuse Post-Standard reports: *DA Bill Fiztpatrick called Speaker Sheldon Silver’s condemnation of the Moreland Commission as a fishing expedition “the dumbest thing I’ve heard in four decades of public service.”* New NYPIRG analysis shows hedge fund founder James Simons legally gave $1 million to State Dem Housekeeping account in 2013.*NYPIRG: Cuomo Biggest Beneficiary of NY’s Mega Donors(YNN) * Document Drop: NY's Biggest Donors Of 2013 | New York Daily News More on Simons' Cuomo connection here:* A big part of the Cuomo legacy is tied to the fate of the Moreland Commission, will he agree to kill it?(NYDN)*Cuomo says he wants campaign reform, but then lets BIG money win yet again! (TU) * Casey Seiler explains how the 2nd Law of Cuomo came into play during the public campaign finance debate.More on the CFB PAC Investigation of the 2013 Election  *Campaign Reform and Media Cover Up of Citizens United On Local 2013 Election * Lobbyists the New Permanent Government  * US Attorney Preet Bharara * Moreland Investigation Updates or Media Cover-Up * Astorino: Investigate Silver(YNN)

 

 

Judge allows Stevenson to switch lawyers(NYP)










1-800-GOPREET The Pension Killer 

Public Service Announcement: NYS Assembly/Senate members—If you suspect you're a thief—turn yourself in now—save your pension. 1800GOPREET* * All freshman members of the Assembly have signed on to a bill that would cut the pensions of public officials convicted of felony corruption, though that support doesn’t necessarily mean the legislation will become law, the Times Union reports:




Will Hevesi Lose His $166,000 Pension?
If U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara can turn pensions for corrupt City Council officials into restitution payments to the government, it might be the first step toward doing so in the cases of other politicians, including former high-level state politicians, the Times Union’s Jim Odato writes: Disgraced former state Comptroller Alan Hevesi after serving his time in  jail is enjoy the $166,000 a year he collects from two public pensions.






 __________________________________________________
Outlaw Albany Lawmakers Pension Loss
Albany Rats Panic As Stevenson Discusses Plea-Deal Options With His Lawyer
Judge slaps down allegedly corrupt pol’s ‘unfair’ cry (NYP) A Manhattan federal judge on Friday sided with US Attorney Preet Bharara, rejecting indicted Assemblyman Eric Stevenson’s claim that he can’t get a “fair trial” because the lawman publicly singled him out and said the pol shouldn’t get a government pension if he’s convicted on bribery charges. Judge William Pauley III rejected a change-of-venue motion by Stevenson (D-Bronx) to move his January public-corruption trial outside the Southern District of New York.   Despite his indictment, which attracted wide media coverage, Stevenson had claimed Bharara is trying the case “in the court of public opinion,” referring to bombshell testimony the prosecutor gave in September to Gov. Cuomo’s Commission to Investigate Public Corruption. Bharara revealed to the panel that he’s moving forward with plans to seize the future pensions for Stevenson and state Sen. Malcolm Smith — if they’re convicted of corruption charges. Smith is also awaiting trial in a separate case.
__________________________________
U.S Attorney Budget Cuts


Prosecutor Sees Danger in Budget Cuts(NYT)
Preet Bharara, the United States attorney for the Southern District of New York, said that because of budget cuts, his office could reach crisis mode as it tries to decide which cases to pursue. Preet Bharara, the U.S. attorney for Southern District of New York, said budget cuts could put his office in crisis mode, and that a lack of federal funding may force him to pick and choose which cases to pursue,

 “Preet thinks of himself as a Democratic Rudy Giuliani, a crime- and corruption-fighter who can parley the US attorney’s job into elective office,’’ a consultant “with ties to Bharara’s office” told the New York Post‘s Fred Dicker. “To the extent that the bloom is off the rose when it comes to Cuomo, that may open the door for Preet to run for his job sometime down the road.’”

“Basically I’m just gonna walk the earth . . . You know, walk the earth, meet people . . . get into adventures. Like Caine from ‘Kung Fu.’" US Attorney Preet Bharara

Bharara's Pulp Fiction Journey to Restore New York's Democracy
The Manhattan US attorney, Preet Bharara, stunned attendees at the DealBook conference when during a Q&A when he reeled off a “Pulp Fiction” speech. 
Who knew Preet Bharara’s a Quentin Tarantino fan? The Manhattan US attorney stunned attendees at the DealBook conference when during a Q&A when he reeled off a “Pulp Fiction” speech. “When asked about future plans, he said, ‘I’m gonna answer the way Samuel L. Jackson did at the end of ‘Pulp Fiction.’ And then he recited — from memory — [the film’s] ‘walk the earth’ speech, including the ‘Kung Fu’ reference. It was awesome!” said a spy. The lines include Jackson telling John Travolta when asked, “You’re really thinking about quitting?” as a hit man, “Basically I’m just gonna walk the earth . . . You know, walk the earth, meet people . . . get into adventures. Like Caine from ‘Kung Fu.’ ” Others at the conference Tuesday included Barry Diller, Daniel Loeb, Elon Musk and David Karp. Our spy said Bharara got a more muted response when he took the stage, but “won them over.” Perhaps attendees were relieved Bharara, who’s gone after SAC Capital and Galleon Group, didn’t use another Tarantino line, “I’m-a get medieval on your ass.”


 Bharara called it “a galling injustice” that corrupt officials can “draw a publicly funded pension” until their “dying day”

 





Corrupt Pension War
Cuomo said pensions are constitutionally protected and corrupt politicians cannot be stripped of their pension plans, as U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said he was planning to do earlier this week, NY1 reports: * Federal Forefiture Of Pensions Different, Cuomo Says: U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara’s plan to claw back pensions...
End pensions for convict pols(NYP Ed) Here’s the bad news: Because New York is incapable of policing its own system, the US attorney has to do the job for us. As Bharara testified, as bad as political corruption is, what “sticks in the craw of every thinking New Yorker is the almost inviolable right of even the most corrupt elected official — even after being convicted by a jury and jailed by a judge — to draw a publicly funded pension until his dying day.” * Retire these payouts(NYDN Ed)
Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara has found a creative new way to hit corrupt politicians where it really hurts — by taking their taxpayer-financed pension money away. Attorney General Eric Schneiderman will appoint the members of the Commission as Deputy Attorneys General giving the Commission broad investigative authority to probe matters that “involve public peace, public safety and public justice” The Commission will have the power to issue subpoenas and examine witnesses under oath.* Does Albany have constitutional handcuffs when it comes to taking corrupt pols pensions?

Outlaw Albany Lawmakers Pension Loss
Albany Rats Panic As Stevenson Discusses Plea-Deal Options With His Lawyer
Judge slaps down allegedly corrupt pol’s ‘unfair’ cry (NYP) A Manhattan federal judge on Friday sided with US Attorney Preet Bharara, rejecting indicted Assemblyman Eric Stevenson’s claim that he can’t get a “fair trial” because the lawman publicly singled him out and said the pol shouldn’t get a government pension if he’s convicted on bribery charges. Judge William Pauley III rejected a change-of-venue motion by Stevenson (D-Bronx) to move his January public-corruption trial outside the Southern District of New York.   Despite his indictment, which attracted wide media coverage, Stevenson had claimed Bharara is trying the case “in the court of public opinion,” referring to bombshell testimony the prosecutor gave in September to Gov. Cuomo’s Commission to Investigate Public Corruption. Bharara revealed to the panel that he’s moving forward with plans to seize the future pensions for Stevenson and state Sen. Malcolm Smith — if they’re convicted of corruption charges. Smith is also awaiting trial in a separate case.


Journalists Fail in the Prime Obligation to Uncover Corruption
The NYT said that "Mr. Cuomo created the commission to fight this kind of ingrained corruption. It has started to give him the tool kit he needs. Now his obligation is to use it." True News and the U.S. Attorney has asked over and over what about the obligation of the journalists to use the media to undercover corruption to build public pressure to force the lawmakers to pass reforms?  





U.S. Attorney Journalism Failure
The Media Reports Indictments Does Not Investigate

Media Ignores U.S. Attorney Plea to Investigate Corruption
Bharara: No Investigative Reporting Equals More Corruption

Bharara to Journalist
Investigate Stop Copying My Press Releases
"Rather than just covering the cases that my office and other offices are already bringing, figure out ways to break new ground and to cover new stories," Bharara said. "Groundbreaking corruption coverage is not just good copy, it's a path to good government." Bharara
Preet challenges journos to do investigative reporting (CrainsNY)
The press has a role to play, Mr. Bharara said, noting that he is saddened by recent reports of newspaper closings and staff downsizing. "Rather than just covering the cases that my office and other offices are already bringing, figure out ways to break new ground and to cover new stories," he said. "Groundbreaking corruption coverage is not just good copy, it's a path to good government."* \Bruno Lawyers Want An April Trial(YNN)
More On Corruption Fighter US Attorney Preet Bharara

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Who Prosecutes Corruption? 
Corruption Prosecutions: Albany v. Manhattan (WSJ)  Interestingly, the office prosecuting most of these cases isn’t in Albany but 150 miles away in Manhattan — the U.S. attorney’s office for the Southern District of New York. Just one significant Albany corruption case — a controversial bribery charge against former state Senate leader Joseph Bruno — originated from the U.S. attorney’s office in the city where lawmakers go to work: the Northern District, which encompasses the state capital.

How DA Vance Gave A Pass to A Corrupt Pol and Party to Protect Bloomberg + Gave Us  Dracula Addabbo

DA's elected by the party machines are force to block or limit political corruption investigations the opposite of U.S Attorney who look to turn  one corrupt pol against another.

In 2011, Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. named Connolly and his party as a “noncriminal defendant’’ in the case against former GOP consultant John Haggerty, who stole Bloomberg campaign cash during the 2009 mayoral race.  Vance accused Connolly — who wasn’t charged in the case — of trying to hide evidence and cover up the misuse of Bloomberg’s money. The DA said Connolly and Haggerty also fabricated and backdated paperwork to make it look like the Independence Party had given Haggerty a contract for the poll-watching effort. At one point, Connelly tried to conceal from the Board of Elections a transfer of the mayor’s funds to Haggerty, prosecutors said. CORRUPTION THRIVES IN ALBANY: WHY DON’T PROSECUTIONS? The majority of political corruption cases have originated from the U.S. Attorney’s Offices in Manhattan and Brooklyn, with few pursued by Albany’s own prosecutors, writes Steven M. Cohen(City and State)

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Stevenson US Attorney Not Fair?

Stevenson Tries to Move His Trial Out of Bharara's Reach Because the U.S. Attorney Testified At Moreland That He Would Move to Take His Pension Away
Assemblyman Eric Stevenson, who is charged with taking more than $20,000 in bribes, said he cannot get a fair trial because U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said Stevenson and other corrupt politicians shouldn’t receive pensions
‘Bribe pol’ claims Bharara’s pension comments will prevent ‘fair trial’(NYP) He’s accused of taking more than $20,000 in bribes, but Assemblyman Eric Stevenson claims he can’t get a “fair trial” because US Attorney Preet Bharara told an Albany panel that guys like him shouldn’t get a pension. Despite his indictment, which attracted wide media coverage, Stevenson claims Bharara is trying the case “in the court of public opinion,” referring to bombshell testimony the prosecutor gave in September to Gov. Cuomo’s Commission to Investigate Public Corruption.  Bharara said he’d use existing federal forfeiture laws to slap convicted pols with fines to claw back any money derived from a public pension “so that the punishment fits the crime and … we can taken the profit out of that crime.” “In that vein,” he added, “we have today filed bills of particulars in two pending public corruption cases — United States vs. Malcolm Smith and United States vs. Eric Stevenson, et al. — giving notice of our intent to go after the pensions of elected officials convicted of corruption charges.”


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Judge Says No To Corrupt Pol
Manhattan federal judge William Pauley III scolded Assemblyman Eric Stevenson in court for trying to delay his upcoming corruption trial because the assemblyman is unhappy with the legal advice he’s getting from his court-appointed lawyer
Bronx pol Eric Stevenson, accused of bribery, seeks to boot his court-appointed attorney(NYDN) Stevenson told Manhattan Federal Judge William Pauley he didn't feel he was 'getting appropriate representation' from attorney Andrew Patel. Pauley denied the request. But Manhattan Federal Judge William Pauley shot him down Monday.“I don’t feel I’m getting appropriate representation,” said the Morrisiana Democrat. The judge scoffed at that, suggesting that Patel has urged Stevenson to cop a plea. “You’re not getting the advice you want to hear,” Pauley said. “If you don’t like the plea, go to trial.” The judge told the defendant and lawyer to make up. “I’m here to try cases,” Pauley said. “You two had better repair your relationship.”* ‘Corrupt’ pol rapped by judge(NYP) Manhattan federal judge William Pauley III scolded Assemblyman Eric Stevenson in court for trying to delay his upcoming corruption trial because the assemblyman is unhappy with the legal advice he’s getting from his court-appointed lawyer.

Media Ignores U.S. Attorney Plea to Investigate Corruption
Bharara: No Investigative Reporting Equals More Corruption


Bharara to Journalist
Investigate Stop Copying My Press Releases
"Rather than just covering the cases that my office and other offices are already bringing, figure out ways to break new ground and to cover new stories," Bharara said. "Groundbreaking corruption coverage is not just good copy, it's a path to good government." Bharara
Preet challenges journos to do investigative reporting (CrainsNY)
The press has a role to play, Mr. Bharara said, noting that he is saddened by recent reports of newspaper closings and staff downsizing. "Rather than just covering the cases that my office and other offices are already bringing, figure out ways to break new ground and to cover new stories," he said. "Groundbreaking corruption coverage is not just good copy, it's a path to good government."* \Bruno Lawyers Want An April Trial(YNN)




US Atty Bharara: We are holding accountable individuals who wanted the law to be for sale and the legislature to be a bazaar
.4 defendants have now pled guilty to conspiring to bribe NYS Assemblymember Eric Stevenson 





U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara (jokingly?) says he eats raw meat every day for breakfast. And when that’s not available, he settles for a chocolate chip Atkins bar and a Diet Coke.





We can see how anyone might regard our state Assembly the same way you would organized crime. 
The full Nelson(NYP) Castro, you may recall, was a state assemblyman who wore a wire as part of US Attorney Preet Bharara’s investigation into corruption in Albany. Castro’s cooperation helped lead to the arrest of fellow Assembly member Eric Stevenson this year.

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Sheriff Bharara


U.S. Attorney Bharara is Being the Press to Help Him Uncover Corruption He Even Quotes Murrow

Bharara: New Media End NYC's Journalism of Sheep
Public corruption, based on all evidence, appears rampant,” Bharara told the Moreland Commission to Investigate Public Corruption at its first public hearing.
“And the ranks of those convicted in office have swelled to absolutely unacceptable levels.” \Earlier in the day, Bharara’s office moved to take away the pensions of state officials convicted of corruption. The office filing seeks to include pensions as part of the property It comes in the case against state Sen. Malcolm Smith (D-Queens), who stands accused of scheming with officials in New York City and Rockland County to raise funds for his one-time attempt to switch parties and run for mayor as a Republican. Letting felons collect state pensions is a “a galling injustice that sticks in the craw of every thinking New Yorker,” Prosecutors in Bharara’s office filed court papers in two separate corruption cases giving notice that they were adding the pensions of two state senators, a city councilman and two other officials to the list of property subject to forfeiture if the officials are convicted.

 Today is the 152nd birthday of the NY Times. It was born on September 18, 1851
Bharara planned to say Tuesday night in a speech before Gov. Cuomo’s new anti-corruption Moreland Commission.* Preet Bharara hopes for more muckraking in Albany(Capital) Albany has been fertile ground for investigative journalists in recent years, with two governors embroiled in ethical woes, and a number of legislators either indicted or forced to resign.  With each press outlet that closes or downsizes, opportunities to ferret out fraud and waste and abuse are lost.





Bharara Begs the New Media Companies to Do What the Old Media Has Not Done, Investigate Corruption


Preet Bharara: “fresh news outlets like BuzzFeed … bent on doubling down on political investigations will provide grist” 4 corruption probe Bharara, SDNY US Atty, bullish on , /, & new , in testimony tonight to Moreland Commission *  In testimony, Bharara laments loss of investigative journalists, and puts high hope in new outlets and revived old * U.S. Attorney To Commission: Political Corruption Is Out Of Hand In N.Y. State(WCBS)

The U.S. Attorney Wants to Take Away Corrupt Pols Pensions Something Albany Lawmakers Won't Do
Preet Bharara--"Maybe Politico¹s purchase of Capital New York... will mean more Albany muckraking":   "Intellectual level of two eight year olds arguing..." Moreland Commission chair William Fitzpatrick on legislators' responses to commission  Moreland Commission's Fitzpatrick: Recent arrests "beg the question: Who the hell are we hiring here?" * U.S. attorney wants to takeaway corrupt pols' pensions

The Media Has Been Silent On Malcolm Smith's Corruption Since His Arrests
Bharara says he's going to try to clawback the pensions of Sen. Malcolm Smith and Assemblyman Eric Stevenson * "Convicted pols shld not grow old comfortably cushioned by a pension paid for by the very ppl they betrayed .. * U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara says a "galling injustice" is the ability of crooked politicians to keep their pensions * Bharara: "public corruption is rampant" and a "bi partisan affair" * Bharara calls for Moreland Commission to apply "broken windows" theory to Albany corruption. * Bharara says his office will pursue any cases that Moreland refers 

Bharara called it “a galling injustice” that corrupt officials can “draw a publicly funded pension” until their “dying day.”
Preet Bharara pushes for "broken windows" approach to political corruption - go after minor violations of campaign finance law* Bharara namechecks as hopeful (maybe) signs for fighting NY pol corruption. * Bharara says he hopes the purchase of and its staffing up will mean more investigations of political wrongdoing New Rules Could Strip Pensions From Politicians Convicted of Corruption(NYT) The policies, aimed at stopping jailed politicians from collecting public money, were detailed Tuesday by Preet Bharara, the United States attorney for the Southern District of New York.* Preet: No pensions for corrupt pols(NYP)  Bharara: When officials moonlight w/out disclosure, prosecutors face hurdles: "That’s why God made the subpoena."  * New Rules Could Strip Pensions From Politicians Convicted of Corruption * U.S. attorney wants to take away corrupt politicians' pensions(NYDN) * US Attorney: Corruption "Appears Rampant" in New York Politics(WNYC)* More on Bherara effort to reclaim the pensions of elected officials found guilty of corruption. [Erica Orden]* Moreland Commission Holds Hearing Into Public Corruption(NY1) * US Attorney's Proposal Renews Debate Over Seizing Public Pensions From Elected Officials (NY1)

Bharara called it “a galling injustice” that corrupt officials can “draw a publicly funded pension” until their “dying day”


 





Corrupt Pension War
Cuomo said pensions are constitutionally protected and corrupt politicians cannot be stripped of their pension plans, as U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said he was planning to do earlier this week, NY1 reports: * Federal Forefiture Of Pensions Different, Cuomo Says: U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara’s plan to claw back pensions...
End pensions for convict pols(NYP Ed) Here’s the bad news: Because New York is incapable of policing its own system, the US attorney has to do the job for us. As Bharara testified, as bad as political corruption is, what “sticks in the craw of every thinking New Yorker is the almost inviolable right of even the most corrupt elected official — even after being convicted by a jury and jailed by a judge — to draw a publicly funded pension until his dying day.” * Retire these payouts(NYDN Ed)
Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara has found a creative new way to hit corrupt politicians where it really hurts — by taking their taxpayer-financed pension money away. Attorney General Eric Schneiderman will appoint the members of the Commission as Deputy Attorneys General giving the Commission broad investigative authority to probe matters that “involve public peace, public safety and public justice” The Commission will have the power to issue subpoenas and examine witnesses under oath.* Does Albany have constitutional handcuffs when it comes to taking corrupt pols pensions?



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Corrupt Pols Pensions

Experts say that federal prosecutors can try to seize the pensions of convicted New York lawmakers because U.S. forfeiture laws trump state pension protections, an issue raised by U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara, Newsday writes:







Crooks Who Get Pensions Now
Prosecutors have had difficulty in the past forcing ex-officials to pay up including former Assemblyman Brian McLaughlin, who pleaded guilty in 2008 to embezzlement, fraud and bribery charges for stealing from taxpayers, labor unions and and even a Queens Little League. In 2011, he fell behind in paying $850,000 in restitution to his victims, prompting the feds to move to seize his leftover campaign cash. Among other pols currently collecting generous pensions are disgraced city and state Controller Alan Hevesi, convicted of using state workers to chauffeur around his wife. He takes home $170,000 a year from two separate taxpayer-funded pensions.
Also receiving a pension for life is former NYPD Commissioner Bernard Kerik, who was convicted of taking discounted home renovations from a contractor pal. He pockets $57,000 a year. One corrupt pol, state Sen. Efrain Gonzalez, is collecting a $37,000-a-year pension while doing time in a federal penitentiary. Gonzalez was convicted in 2010 of stealing $500,000 from a children’s charity to finance his cigar business and sentenced to seven years. More than 30 New York State politicians have been indicted or convicted of a crime, censured or otherwise accused of misconduct in the last seven years. Mr. Bharara said that under his office’s new policies, prosecutors would also seek what he called “appropriate fines” with an eye toward the money that convicted corrupt officials might receive from publicly financed pensions so “the punishment fits the crime and so we can take the profit out of that crime.”

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Sheriff Bharara Tricks the Old Media


U.S. Attorney Bharara Said Last Week If the Old Media Won't Investigate Albany Corruption the New Media Will

Bharara: New Media End NYC's Journalism of Sheep
Quotes Murrow

Preet Bharara: “fresh news outlets like BuzzFeed … bent on doubling down on political investigations will provide grist” 4 corruption probe Bharara, SDNY US Atty, bullish on , /, & new , in testimony tonight to Moreland Commission *  In testimony, Bharara laments loss of investigative journalists, and puts high hope in new outlets and revived old * U.S. Attorney To Commission: Political Corruption Is Out Of Hand In N.Y. State(WCBS)

The Old Bulls At the NYT and Daily News Embarrassed By Bharara Get Off Their Ass Today

Silence of the sheep(NYDN Ed)
The two top officials with the most to hide about their private incomes and public business have engineered a power-grabbing cover-up whose message to New Yorkers concerned about integrity in government is that they can go to hell. In a rare show of bipartisanship, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and Senate Republican chief Dean Skelos joined in having lawyers, hired at great public cost, notify Gov. Cuomo’s anti-corruption commission that the Legislature will not cooperate with the panel’s inquiries. The Assembly and Senate are cowards who have concocted a backroom scheme to evade embarrassment and, possibly, worse. Assembly lawyer Kasowitz and Senate private counsel Michael Garcia told Moreland Commission lawyer Perry in writing to get lost.  They cited the separation of powers, since the commission is part of the executive branch. They also point to the disclosure law passed and signed by Cuomo in 2011 as covering all that needs to be revealed by members.

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Smith in Court, Halloran Getting Ready

A federal judge has forbidden lawyers from publicly disclosing evidence in the ongoing corruption case involving state Sen. Malcolm Smith, former Spring Valley Mayor Noramie Jasmin, and ex-deputy mayor Joseph Desmaret, The Journal News reports:
While indicted Councilman Dan Halloran‘s lawyer is arguing that it’s not illegal trade cash for ballot access. “Payments in exchange for Wilson-Pakula are not bribery,” said Vinoo Varghese, his attorney. “New York State has never prosecuted this as a criminal act.”



Smith Who is Under Indictment For Try to Buy the GOP Party Line and Using the Matching Funds As An ATM Machine
State Sen. drives through $100G in campaign expenses(NYP) *
Queens State Sen. Malcolm Smith has billed his campaign fund $100,632 for vehicle-related expenses since 2010. Smith was reimbursed for two leased cars, E-ZPass payments and even parking tickets, according to an analysis by the New York Public Interest Research Group. Gov. Cuomo’s anti-corruption panel exposed a new twist — legislators who also put in for reimbursement from the state for their travel expenses. But the panel didn’t name any of the lawmakers it claimed were “double dipping.”* Queens Attorney Set to Challenge Malcolm Smith(NYO) Munir Avery, an attorney with close ties to Queens County politics, is planning to challenge embattled Sen. Malcolm Smith next year.
More on Malcolm Smith






True News, Bharara an Politico (Capital) Push the NYT to Demanding That Cuomo Let Moreland Do Its Job

Will New York’s Political Watchdog Pass the Test?
The Times is concerned that after a promising start, Cuomo’s Commission to Investigate Public Corruption is becoming little more than a branch of the governor’s political network. Gov. Andrew Cuomo had the right idea when he formed a commission to help end the scandal epidemic in New York State. He appointed a respected group of experts, asked them to come up with ways to cut the sleaze, promised them independence and asked for a preliminary report by Dec. 1. As that deadline nears, however, there is growing concern that the Commission to Investigate Public Corruption, also known as the Moreland Commission, could become little more than a branch of the governor’s political network. If so, it will be another Potemkin committee, issuing another report. The independence Governor Cuomo promised will clearly be compromised if not wholly sabotaged if he or members of his staff tell the commissioners what to do and what not to do.*  Governor Andrew Cuomo Quashes Moreland Commission’s REBNY Subpoena and Other Follow-The-Money Subpoenas Hitting Too Close To Home(Noticing New York)

Governor Cuomo's Crusade (sort of) Against Corruption Comes With Too Many Asterisks. My Gotham Column(NYT) "a commission member, who spoke on the condition of anonymity as he desires to continue living peacefully" in NYS. “That’s fundamental, except maybe not for this governor.” “The politicians in Albany won’t like it, but I work for the people, and I won’t stop fighting until we all have a government that we can trust.”— Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, in a commercial shown more than 100 times last summer.



Both the NYT and Times Union Today Say Cuomo Will Pay A Price for Killing Moreland
Even worse, doing so would destroy the confidence of an already wary public that anything meaningful can be done to curb the way money corrupts politics in Albany.* “What gives, Mr. Cuomo?” the Albany Times Union writes on the Moreland Commission. “As dismal as this all is, it may not be too late for this commission to succeed — if Mr. Cuomo can keep his hands off it, regardless of whose feathers get ruffled, and if the commissioners haven’t lost their vision of the original goal and their will to do something about it. If not, Mr. Cuomo should be prepared to own a failure as embarrassing as the system he vowed to fix.”


Bharara: New Media End NYC's Journalism of Sheep
Quotes Murrow Preet Bharara: “fresh news outlets like BuzzFeed … bent on doubling down on political investigations will provide grist” 4 corruption probe Bharara, SDNY US Atty, bullish on , /, & new , in testimony tonight to Moreland Commission *  In testimony, Bharara laments loss of investigative journalists, and puts high hope in new outlets and revived old * U.S. Attorney To Commission: Political Corruption Is Out Of Hand In N.Y. State(WCBS)* Top Lobbyist Patricia Lynch Sees Income Loss Since 2011(NYDN)


The Old Bulls At the NYT Editorial Board Embarrassed to Get Off Their Ass Today
Were is the Outrage From the Goo Goos and Reforms?
New York Legislators’ Secret Income(NYT Ed) The state anticorruption commission must press for details about outside money sources that lawmakers have kept hidden for decades.Considering the scandals in the New York State Legislature, one would think that battered lawmakers would be eager to clean up their reputation. Instead, they’ve hired lawyers to fight a new anticorruption commission’s efforts to find out precisely where they earn outside income. This fight, they insist, is all about maintaining a separation of powers and protecting the Legislature from an intrusive executive. That's the press, baby (Video from Deadline - USA)

Bronx GOP Boss Savino Going to Rat

Preet Bharara Has Started the Dominoes Falling 
Former Bronx GOP Chairman Jay Savino pleaded guilty to federal corruption charges.
WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. — The former Republican Party chairman in the Bronx has pleaded guilty to corruption charges, admitting to accepting a bribe to let a Democratic state senator run for New York City mayor as a Republican. Joseph Savino entered the plea to three public corruption counts Tuesday in federal court in White Plains.* Former Bronx GOP Chairman Jay Savino Pleads Guilty To Corruption Charges(NYDN)
* Former Bronx GOP Chairman Pleads Guilty In Connection With ...(NY1)* Savino pleads guilty in corruption scandal with Spring Valley ties(LoHud) * Ex-Bronx GOP boss pleads guilty in corruption case(TU) *Ex-Bronx GOP boss pleads guilty in corruption case(WSJ) * Ex-Bronx County Republican Chairman Joseph Savino pleads guilty to bribery ...(Bronx 12)



Savino admitted participating in the plot between November 2012 and April 2013 to aid state Sen. Malcolm Smith in getting on this year's mayoral ballot. Savino, who remains free on $250,000 bond, will serve as a cooperating witness against the other defendants in the case, according to his plea agreement. Smith, Halloran, Tabone, Spring Valley Mayor Noramie Jasmin and Spring Valley Deputy Mayor Joseph Desmaret have all pleaded not guilty to bribery and other charges.


Savino copped to taking a $15,000 bribe from an undercover agent in exchange for agreeing to help Smith get a Wilson-Pakula waiver to compete in the primary without switching his registration.

The feds say in court papers that Savino could apply to enter the witness protection program as the entrenched ex-politico’s cooperation “is likely to reveal activities of individuals who might use violence, force, and intimidation against” him and his family. He faces up to 30 years in prison and nine years of supervised  release when he’s sentenced on Feb 25 – although he’s likely to get a significantly reduced sentence. His lawyer Robert LaRusso said he’d seek probation for Savino.




We Hear Your Now Melvin Lowe
 Because he is a Democrat, Smith needed three Republican leaders' permission. According to court papers, Savino accepted $15,000 from an undercover FBI agent last Feb. 1 at a Manhattan restaurant. As part of the plea, he must forfeit the money. Savino faces up to 30 years in prison at a Feb. 25 sentencing.* Political Consultant Melvin Lowe Arrested in Corruption Case ...

Savino Throws Halloran Under the Bus
Joseph “Jay” Savino told White Plains federal Judge Kenneth Karas that Councilman Dan Halloran instigated the entire scheme to get state Sen. Malcolm Smith (D-Queens) on the GOP ballot for mayor.The fallen Bronx power broker said the deal was concocted after he reached out to Halloran in January 2013 for help ensuring that the City Council didn’t replace one of Savino’s hand-picked commissioners on the city’s Board of Elections. “He basically told me the only way I would keep my commissioner is to come to this lunch,” Savino said. Savino said he met with Halloran and others – including an undercover agent he referred to as “Raj” — at Spark’s Steak House in Midtown on February 1. There, Savino said, it was proposed that he’d be hired for legal services on development projects in Rockland County and the Bronx in exchange for him helping get Smith on the GOP mayoral ballot. Savino said he agreed to accept a $30,000 retainer — including $15,000 up front.

Selling the GOP Line
Because he is a Democrat, Smith needed GOP support in at least three boroughs to run as a Republican without changing his party affiliation. Smith had Halloran allegedly set up meetings with Savino and Queens Republican Vice Chairman Vincent Tabone to arrange bribes for their support, while Halloran pocketed thousands for himself, prosecutors said.

When we hear from the U.S. Attorney next Moreland will as Katy Perry says ROAR
    1. Poll Asked Voters What They Think Gov. Cuomo's Moreland Commission Should Recommend
      An unknown pollster has been asking New York voters what recommendations the Moreland Commission on Public Ethics should make, including public financing of campaigns or contribution limits
    2. Legislature will only pass what voters embrace; no prize for goo-goo edit bd ideas that don't pass bc no public backing/interest



“Basically I’m just gonna walk the earth . . . You know, walk the earth, meet people . . . get into adventures. Like Caine from ‘Kung Fu.’" US Attorney Preet Bharara

Bharara's Pulp Fiction Journey to Restore New York's Democracy
The Manhattan US attorney, Preet Bharara, stunned attendees at the DealBook conference when during a Q&A when he reeled off a “Pulp Fiction” speech. 
Who knew Preet Bharara’s a Quentin Tarantino fan? The Manhattan US attorney stunned attendees at the DealBook conference when during a Q&A when he reeled off a “Pulp Fiction” speech. “When asked about future plans, he said, ‘I’m gonna answer the way Samuel L. Jackson did at the end of ‘Pulp Fiction.’ And then he recited — from memory — [the film’s] ‘walk the earth’ speech, including the ‘Kung Fu’ reference. It was awesome!” said a spy. The lines include Jackson telling John Travolta when asked, “You’re really thinking about quitting?” as a hit man, “Basically I’m just gonna walk the earth . . . You know, walk the earth, meet people . . . get into adventures. Like Caine from ‘Kung Fu.’ ” Others at the conference Tuesday included Barry Diller, Daniel Loeb, Elon Musk and David Karp. Our spy said Bharara got a more muted response when he took the stage, but “won them over.” Perhaps attendees were relieved Bharara, who’s gone after SAC Capital and Galleon Group, didn’t use another Tarantino line, “I’m-a get medieval on your ass.”

Feds use Small Fish Pols to Catch Big Fish Pols . . .  NYC' DAs Use Containment to Protect the Pols 

He's one of the most powerful federal prosecutors in the land, but Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara confessed last night he still doesn't know why big shots turn to crime. "Why ... did defendants of great wealth and renown ... go south?" he wondered at a Fordham Law School panel on "Absence of Malice," the 1981 film in which Sally Field's reporter and Paul Newman's accused criminal navigate journalistic ethics and prosecutorial misconduct. 

Bharara said his office patiently builds big cases by starting with smaller fish and working their way up: "We say, 'You're in a lot of trouble. Before we go to court, you might want to make a few phone calls.' Some people find that unseemly because there's a utilitarian aspect to it." He also said Wilford Brimley's prosecutor character seemed so competent in the movie, Bharara was ready to hire him.

 




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