At the request of Gov. David Paterson, and in the wake of the “Troopergate” scandal involving former Gov. Eliot Spitzer, Attorney General Andrew Cuomo said today he will conduct an investigation of the New York State Police.
Paterson’s letter to Cuomo, hand-delivered on Monday, said: “Recent reported events raise questions of possible political interference with the State Police and I am determined to not only ascertain the veracity of such reports but to do everything within my power to protect and strengthen the reputation of the State Police.”
Cuomo said in an interview this morning on radio station WGDJ-AM (Talk 1300) that he would undertake the investigation.
“Combining politics and police work is a toxic brew,” Cuomo said in a written statement later in the day. “Any questions about political interference within the state police are a serious concern. Our investigation will determine whether or not this has occurred within the state police, and if so to what extent.”
The Troopergate scandal apparently involved an effort by Spitzer to use state police to monitor the state-funded travels of Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno, R-Brunswick, and use the information to damage him politically.
Bruno put out a statement Tuesday saying: “I congratulate Governor Paterson for requesting that the attorney general investigate the New York State Police in light of the role they played in the Troopergate scandal, as well as other disturbing allegations raised by the New York Post about potential abuses of police power.
“… The attorney general issued the first report that described how the Troopergate plot unfolded, but as we are learning now, that was just the tip of the iceberg. The governor’s request is timely and appropriate and I’m confident that Attorney General Cuomo will conduct a thorough and diligent investigation that will bring more clarity to this disgraceful situation on behalf of all New Yorkers who have a right to know.”
Paterson’s letter requested that Cuomo investigate “pursuant to Executive law 63(3), and I direct you to conduct an inquiry pursuant to Executive law 63(8) should you find that the public interest requires it.”
Also today, the State Commission of Investigation announced it would investigate the investigations of the Troopergate scandal.
“We are seeking to determine the efficacy of the various investigatory efforts,” said a statement from the commission, “including those of the Albany County District Attorney, the State Inspector General and the State Commission on Public Integrity.”
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