JCOPE chair says ‘targeted leaks’ of Cuomo information undermine staff

Cuomo Under Fire

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo speaks during a coronavirus briefing at Northwell Feinstein Institute For Medical Research in Manhasset, New York on May 6, 2020. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – The chair of JCOPE—the Joint Commission on Public Ethics, tasked with overseeing government ethics in New York— has released a statement on information that was reportedly leaked to the media. Chair Jose L. Nieves said “these targeted leaks are nothing more than a coordinated attempt to undermine and discredit the Commission and its staff.”

According to the statement, unauthorized information relating to former Governor Andrew Cuomo was released to the media by someone associated with JCOPE. Nieves said this painted the Commission staff in a negative light.

“JCOPE staff are professional, experienced, hardworking public servants committed to enforcing the ethics and lobbying laws in the state. Any suggestion or insinuation to the contrary is nothing more than a baseless and inaccurate political attack on JCOPE,” said Nieves.

“Equally false and completely baseless is any accusation that the Attorney General’s activities in relation to or communications with JCOPE are politically motivated.  The Commissioners and staff of JCOPE will continue to work with the Attorney General in a cooperative and constructive manner,” said Nieves.

Nieves said any leaked confidential information is demeaning to JCOPE and the information does not reflect the position of the Commission.

In November, JCOPE voted to rescind Cuomo’s $5.1 million book deal. In December, the Commission voted on a resolution ordering Cuomo to pay back that money.

You can read his full statement below:

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