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Examination of the Statute Establishing JCOPE
Executive Law §94, as Written --
original & amendments


Ethics in Government Act of 1987
Chapter 813 of the Laws of 1987

Public Employee Ethics Reform Act of 2007 ("PEERA")
Chapter 14 of the Laws of 2007

Public Integrity Reform Act of 2011 ("PIRA")
Chapter 399 of the Laws of 2011

PIRA's significant
safeguarding provisions

Part A, §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

...This section shall not be deemed to have revoked or rescinded any regulations or advisory opinions issued by the legislative ethics commission, the commission on public integrity, the state ethics commission and the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."

"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;"

(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.

Examination of Executive Law §94
, as Applied --
-- oversight of which was within the purview of the Legislature's Committees on Ethics, Governmental Operations, Oversight,
Legislative Commission on Gov't Administration

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

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

the holding of annual hearings,
for presentation & questioning

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


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

pp. 33-42   "Investigation and Enforcement"

the holding of a hearings,
for presentation & questioning

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

Examination of promulgated rules

19 NYCRR Part 941

Examination of the required
JCOPE/LEC Review Commission Report

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

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

Examination of JCOPE's Budgets

State Operations budget bill
Independent Ethics & Lobbying Commission
p. 415 .... $5,594,000

FY2021-22: $5,594,000
State Operations Budget Bill -- p. 534

FY2020-21: $5,582,000
State Operations Budget Bill -- pp. 588

FY2019-20: $5,582,000
State Operations Budget Bill -- p. 600

FY2018-19: $5,582,000
State Operations Budget Bill -- p. 610

FY2017-18:  $5,582,000
State Operations Budget Bill -- p. 579

FY2016-17: $5,582,000
State Operations Budget Bill -- p. 570

FY2015-16: $5,582,000
State Operations Budget Bill -- p. 617

FY2014-15: $4,382,000
State Operations Budget Bill -- pp. 611

FY2013-14: $4,556,000
State Operations Budget Bill -- p. 600


Examination of JCOPE's Members & Staff

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

#4 -- Sanford Berland
April 2021: appointed


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

JCOPE's current members


meeting agendas
March 29, 2022


Going Forward --
starting with complainants &
their substantiating complaints, FOIL requests, & lawsuits

complaints filed with JCOPE

FOIL requests to & about JCOPE  

lawsuits vs JCOPE

& press reporting on JCOPE




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