About CJA
Our History
Our Mission
Who We Are
Awards & Honors

Published Pieces

Testimony

Judicial Selection
Federal
State-NY

Judicial Discipline
Federal
State-NY

Test Cases:
Federal (Mangano)
State (Commission)

"Disruption of Congress"
Paper Trail to Jail
Paper Trail from Jail
The Appeals

Judicial Compensation
Federal
State-NY

Elections:
Informing the Voters

Press Suppression

Suing The New York Times
Outreach
Background Paper Trail

Searching for Champions:
    (Correspondence):

Federal
NYS
Bar Associations
Academia
Organizations
Nader & Others
Citizens

Our Members' Efforts

Library

Join Us!

WHAT A METHODOLOGICALLY-SOUND REVIEW
OF JCOPE & LEC WOULD LOOK LIKE

Under construction --

1.
The Statutes, as Written --
original & amendments

Executive Law §94
(Public Integrity Reform Act of 2011 -- Chapter 399 of the Laws of 2011)

Significant safeguarding provisions

Part A, Sec. 21:
No later than June 1, 2014, the govemor and the legislative leaders shall jointly appoint a review commission to review and evaluate the activities and performance of the joint commission on public ethics and the legislative ethics commission in implementing the provisions of this act. On or before March 1, 2015, the review commission shall report to the governor and the legislature on its review and evaluation which report shall include any administrative and legislative recommendations on strengthening the administration and enforcement ofthe ethics law in New York state. The review commission shall be comprised of eight members and the governor and the legislative leaders shall jointly designate a chair from among the members.
(Part A, Sec 21, Chapter 399 of the Laws of 2011-
Senate Bill #5679-201I (at p. 46)/Assembly Bill #8301-2011)

Senate webpage-5679  Senate webpage-8301


§94.1
...This section shall not be deemed to have revoked or rescinded any regulations or advisory opinions issued by the legislative ethics commission, the commission on public integrity, the state ethics commission and the temporary lobbying commission.... The commission shall undertake a comprehensive review of all such regulations and opinions, which will address the consistency of such regulations and opinions among each other and with the new statutory language, and of the effectiveness of the existing laws, regulations, guidance and ethics enforcement structure to address the ethics of covered public officials and related parties. Such review shall be conducted with the legislative ethics commission and, to the extent possible, the report's findings shall reflect the full input and deliberations of both commissions after joint consultation. The commission shall, before February first, two thousand fifteen, report to the governor and legislature regarding such review and shall propose any regulatory or statutory changes and issue any advisory opinions necessitated by such review."


§94.9(l)
"Prepare an annual report to the governor and legislature summarizing the activities of the commission during the previous year and recommending any changes in the laws governing the conduct of persons subject to the jurisdiction of the commission, or the rules, regulations and procedures governing the commission's conduct. Such report shall include: (i) a listing by assigned number of each complaint and referral received which alleged a possible violation within its jurisdiction, including the current status of each complaint, and (ii) where a matter has been resolved, the date and nature of the disposition and any sanction imposed, subject to the confidentiality requirements of this section, provided, however, that such annual report shall not contain any information for which disclosure is not permitted pursuant to subdivision nineteen of this section;"

§94.13.
(a) Investigations.
"If the commission receives a sworn complaint alleging a violation of section seventy-three, seventy-three-a, or seventy-four of the public officers law, section one hundred seven of the civil service law or article one-A of the legislative law by a person or entity subject to the jurisdiction of the commission including members of the legislature and legislative employees and candidates for member of the legislature...the commission shall notify the individual in writing, describe the possible or alleged violation of such laws, provide a description of the allegations against him or her and the evidence, if any, supporting such allegations, provided however that the joint commission shall redact any information that might, in the judgment of the commission, be prejudicial to either the complainant or the investigation; the letter also shall set forth the sections of law alleged to have been violated and provide the person with a fifteen day period in which to submit a written response, including any evidence, statements, and proposed witnesses, setting forth information relating to the activities cited as a possible or alleged violation of law. The commission shall, within sixty calendar days after a complaint or a referral is received...vote on whether to commence a full investigation of the matter under consideration to determine whether a substantial basis exists to conclude that a violation of law has occurred. The staff of the joint commission shall provide to the members prior to such vote information regarding the likely scope and content of the investigation, and a subpoena plan, to the extent such information is available...."



(b) Substantial basis investigation.
...If the commission determines at any stage that there is no violation, that any potential violation has been rectified, or if the investigation is closed for any other reason, it shall so advise the individual and the complainant, if any in writing within fifteen days of such decision. All of the foregoing proceedings shall be confidential.


Legislative Law §80

§80.7(l)
 "Prepare an annual report to the governor and legislature summarizing the activities of the commission during the previous year and recommending any changes in the laws governing the conduct of persons subject to the jurisdiction of the commission, or the rules, regulations and procedures governing the commission’s conduct. Such report shall include: (i) a listing by assigned number of each complaint and report received from the joint commission on public ethics which alleged a possible violation within its jurisdiction, including the current status of each complaint, and (ii) where a matter has been resolved, the date and nature of the disposition and any sanction imposed, subject to the confidentiality requirements of this section. Such annual report shall not contain any information for which disclosure is not permitted pursuant to subdivision twelve of this section.


2.
The Statues, as Applied --
-- oversight of which was within the purview of the Legislature's Committees on Ethics, Governmental Operations, Oversight, & Commissions

A. 
examination of annual reports --
would have revealled, from the 1st year -- 2012 --
non-compliance with requirements of annual reports
(ie complaints, recommendations)

2012 Annual Report (March 28, 2013)
Executive Director Ellen Biben; Chair Janet DiFiore
"Investigation and Enforcement": pp. 45-48
Legislative Recommendations: pp. 49-50
"Pursuant to Executive Law §94(9)(l), staff proposes the following changes to the 'laws governing the conduct of persons subject to the jurisdiction of the [C]ommission,' which arise out of the day-to-day administration and enforcement of the Public Officers Law and Lobbying Act.  Staff will continue to develop additional appropriate and effective legislative proposals, including recommendations with respect to the procedures governing the Commission as set forth in Executive Law §94."

2013 Annual Report (April 3, 2014)
Executive Director Letizia Tagliafierro; Chair Daniel Horwitz
"

"Investigation and Enforcement"  pp. 45-50

2014 Annual Report (April 29, 2015)
Executive Director Letizia Tagliafierro; Chair Daniel Horwitz
"...the Commission issued a special report to the Governor and legislative leaders on February 2, 2015 (in accordance with Executive Law 94(1)) (the 'February 2015 Report')...The Comission also proposed several areas of legislative reforms...and increase transparency of the Commission's actions." (at pp. 7-8)
"Investigations and Enforcement" pp. 37-40


2015 Annual Report
(April 7, 2016)
Executive Director ...   Chair Daniel Horwitz
"The Commission made substantial legislative recommendations last year, many of which are being considered by the Legislature at this time.  As such, the Commission has not included recommendations with this report.  In 2016, the Commission will continue its efforts to provide new guidance on recent reforms and plans to develop new comprehensive regulations on the Lobbying Act." (at p. 8)
"Investigations and Enforcements"  pp. 43-48

2016 Annual Report (June 8, 2017)
Executive Director Seth Agata  Acting Chair Michael Rozen
"The Commission separately made substantial recommendations for legislative amendments earlier this year (on jcope.ny.gov, go to 'Laws'> 'Proposed Legislative Amendments), so recommendations are not included in this report."  (at p. 8)
"enforcement of the ethics and lobbying laws can be the most public manifestation of the Commission's authority, despite the statutes and rules that remove, in part, this activity from public view...the Commission is not saddled with the burden of having to establish violations 'beyond a reasonable doubt...." (at p. 11)
"Investigations and Enforcement"  pp. 49-56

2017 Annual Report (April 18, 2018)
Executive Director Seth Agata  Chair Michael Rozen
"Commission staff drafted recommendations for legislative amendments earlier this year, which can be found on our website, (go to the 'Laws' main menu tab, then click on 'Proposed Legislative Amendments' in the drop-down menu below that tab), so recommendats are not included in this report." (at p. 8)
"Investigations and Enforcement" pp. 46-50

2018 Annual Report (April 11, 2019)
Executive Director Seth Agata  Chair Michael Rozen
"In late 2018, the Commission discussed a proposed legislative amendment to increase transparency around its investigative function by giving the Commission more discretion to make investigative matters public.  That amendment was formally submitted to the Legislature and the Executive for consideration in early 2019.
In addition, the Commission maintains on its website a set of recommendations for other proposed legislative amendments that were drafted by staff either earlier in 2018 or in 2017.  Those proposals can be found on the Commission's website, jcope.ny.gov; go to the 'Laws' main menu tab, then click on 'Proposed Legislative Amendments' in the drop-down menu below that tab.  As such, additional recommendations are not included with this report." (at p. 8)

"Investigation and Enforcement" pp. 49-54

2019 Annual Report (July 30, 2020)
Executive Director       Chair Michael Rozen
"In addition, in early 2019, the Commission formally submitted to the Legislature
and Executive a proposed legislative amendment to incdrease transparency
around its investigative function by giving the Commission more discretion to make
investigative matters public."  (at p. 3)

"Investigations and Enforcements" pp. 48-55

2020 Annual Report  (July 8, 2021)
Executive Director  Sanford Berland   Chair Camille Joseph Varlack

1.
the holding of annual hearings,
for presentation & questioning

2.
findings of fact, conclusions of law,
embodied in committee report --
in support of legislation


B. 
examination of the required February 2015 JCOPE Report
would have revealled its deficiencies (ie. statutorily-required appointments --
members, staff, JCOPE/LEC review Commission), as well as recommendations

Chair:  Daniel Horwitz

pp. 33-42   "Investigation and Enforcement"



1.
the holding of a hearings,
for presentation & questioning

2.
findings of fact, conclusions of law,
embodied in committee report --
in support of legislation


C.
examination of the required
JCOPE/LEC Review Commission Report

1.
the holding of a hearing --
with testimony by Commissioners
& other witnesses;

2.
findings of fact & conclusions of law,
embodied in committee report -- in support of legislation


D.
Personnel

Executive Directors:

#1-- Ellen Biben
Feb. 28, 2012: appointed Executive Director
2007-2010: worked under AG Cuomo as
"special deputy attorney general for public integrity"
2011: inspector general
2015: appointed by Gov Cuomo to Ct of Claims

#2 -- Letizia Tagliafierro
Oct. 29, 2013:  appointed Executive Director;
prior thereto was JCOPE's first first Director of Investigations and Enforcement
"where she oversaw all investigative and enforcement matters"
;
Jan. 2011: appointed as Gov Cuomo's "Director of Intergovernmental Affairs"
2008: special counsel/public advocacy attorney in AG's Buffalo Office

#3 -- Seth Agata
March 2016:  appointed
previously counsel to Governor &
First Asst Counsel and Ethics Officer for the Executive Chamber

---

2013 annual report--
Monica Stamm: Chief of Staff & Deputy Counsel
"who assists the Executive Director with managing the agency" (at p. 19)

 

 

Going Forward --
TESTIMONY OF WITNESSES
WITH DIRECT, FIRST-HAND INTERACTION
--
starting with complainants &
their substantiating complaints & lawsuits


and also including the press pertaining to their reporting

---------------
Legislative Law Article 4
"Legislative Committee;
Taking of
Testimony in Legislative Committees"


 

 

Top

 
CJA Site Search Engine Search CJA

CJA Homepage  •  Latest News  •  Join Us  •  Site Search

 

 

Mailing Address:
Post Office Box 8101, White Plains, New York 10602
Tel: 914-421-1200
e-mail: mail@judgewatch.org