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Cuomo defends Moreland Commission probes

ALBANY -- Governor Andrew Cuomo said Wednesday the Moreland Commission is tasked with specifically investigating state lawmakers because of "the rash of corruption allegations in the legislature".

Governor Cuomo made it clear during this past legislative session --if lawmakers don't pass an ethics reform bill he would form a Moreland Commission. Since they didn't, he followed through and did.

The Commission's first goal was to obtain private business transactions of state lawmakers. However, when they pushed back the Commission flexed the legal muscle's given to them and started issuing subpoenas.     However, hired attorney's for both houses are stepping in front of those subpoenas.

"I don't know if they are going to be challenged, if they are challenged I don't know if they will be upheld,' Cuomo said. "The legal strategy was left to the commission on that basis."

GOP Assemblyman Pete Lopez, Schoharie, says he still questions the need for a Moreland Commission to look into him and his colleagues. Lopez calls the body "nothing but a distraction".

"These committees and commissions raise visibility but really there should be statutes (that) should be very clear if you step over the line it should be a function of the courts and then we don't all have to be embroiled in this morass really," Lopez said.

The first report by the Commission is due in December.

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