“It is shameful,” John Kaehny of Reinvent Albany, a good government advocacy group, said Tuesday, equating the approvals with “Get Out of Jail Free cards that make it nearly impossible to prosecute government officials for abuse of government power. their offices. “
Ms Hochul said she was considering reconfiguring the panel, which was also reviewed due to its lack of transparency and structural makeup. The new governor has made the promise of change the center of his administration.
“I want people to believe in their government again,” she said on her first day in office.
She has since accepted the resignations of many officials who served her predecessor, including Howard Zucker, the health commissioner, and Letizia Tagliafierro, the inspector general. Ms Hochul said she would take her first 45 days to examine those currently on duty and “put together her government team.” This period ends this week.
The decision of the Ethics Commission seems to mark the beginning of this change. When the panel voted against opening an investigation in September, it was led by James Dering, a holdover from Cuomo. Since then, he has become the fourth of six people appointed by Mr. Cuomo to take his leave.
Two of the last people named by Ms Hochul, Sharon Stern Gerstman, a Republican, and Jose Nieves, the Democratic president, attended their first meeting on Tuesday.
Mr. Nieves is a veteran, having served in Afghanistan before working for the state attorney general’s office and the Federal Aviation Administration. In 2019, he launched an unsuccessful bid to become a Queens prosecutor. Ms. Gerstman, a Buffalo-based lawyer, specializes in mediation and appellate work and has served as president of the New York State Bar Association. In 2016, she appeared in an episode of the TV show “Jeopardy!”