Bumpy Path for Ethics Reform in Albany

Thursday, May 02, 2013

state capitol Capitol building in Albany (Karen DeWitt/WXXI)

A former prosecutor in then Attorney General Andrew Cuomo's office is resigning her post as executive director of the state’s Joint Committee on Public Ethics. Ellen Biben has led the ethics panel since its launch in February of last year, and is the second member to resign in recent weeks.

Jimmy Vielkind, a capitol reporter with The Times-Union, says this latest resignation will put a spotlight back on JCOPE.

"Among the political chatting class here at the capitol, it's not regarded as a stellar success," he said. "And I think it will also put back into focus how many things — the last time lawmakers tried to address public corruption, again in 2011 — how things went wrong, how things went right and what lessons can be learned for this go around."

Listen to Host Amy Eddings' full interview with Jimmy Vielkind above.


Jimmy Veilkind

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Comments [1]

SJG from NYC

Major problem with a question posed by Ms. Eddings during this interview. She wonders if the resignation at JCOPE would be a setback for Gov. Cuomo's efforts to clean up Albany. This is simply poor reporting and deserves criticism. Cuomo certainly campaigned with pledges to clean up Albany. He has formed entities like JCOPE and he continues to talk about cleaning up Albany. But there is no evidence of true efforts to clean up Albany. In fact, one could argue that the limited impact of JCOPE generally and the lack of follow up into the roles played by a number elected officials in the Lopez scandal/coverup would indicate that Cuomo has shown little to no effort to clean up Albany. In fact, last weekend's Times article ( would indicate that the Cuomo administration is as dirty as the rest of Albany.

It is irresponsible reporting to continue to take Cuomo at his word and start evaluating him on his actions. He cannot be counted among those wanting to clean up Albany until we see him actually do something.

May. 03 2013 09:49 AM

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