Analysis: First look at new ethics commission
New York's recently-formed Joint Commission on Public Ethics (JCOPE) will be chaired by Westchester County District Attorney Janet DiFiore. The commission replaces the Commission on Public Integrity (CPI) and is tasked with overseeing ethics in Albany for the legislature, lobbyists and the executive branch.
The positions are largely unpaid, though Gov. Cuomo has said that members will receive a $300 per diem on days when they meet.
JCOPE is comprised of six appointments by Gov. Cuomo, three by Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos, three by Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, one from State Senate Democratic Leader John Sampson and one from State Assembly Minority Leader Brian Kolb.
The full commission is: Janet DiFiore (chair), Ravi Batra, Pat Bulgaro, Judge Joseph Covello, Vincent Delorio, Mitra Hormozi, Daniel Horwitz, Marvin Jacob, Seymour Knox IV, Gary Lavine, Mary Lou Rath, David Renzi, George Weissman and Ellen Yaroshefsky.
Cuomo appointed DiFiore, Delorio, Hormozi, Horwitz, Lavine and Knox. Judge Covello, Rath and Weissman were appointed by Skelos. Silver's picks were Bulgaro, Jacob and Yaroshefsky. Sampson chose Batra and Kolb selected Renzi.
At 'New York NOW's' Reporters' Roundtable, Newsday's Yancey Roy questions why the commission appears to be comprised of those with connections to the political establishment, speculating that ethics oversight positions in New York may have been difficult to fill given their history of receiving 'high scrutiny from the press.' For more analysis on the commission, watch video here (skip to chapter two).