NY1 News: Political Interference Bill Proposed In Wake Of Paterson Scandal (Feb 28)

Eric Adams

March 01, 2010

From NY1:


On the heels of the recent scandal involving Governor Paterson and the State Police, Assemblyman Hakeem Jeffries and Senator Eric Adams proposed Sunday a new bill they say will help keep law enforcement officials in line.

The bill would create a temporary commission to investigate systemic misconduct, abuse of power and inappropriate political intervention with state law enforcement.

The governor abandoned his election bid on Friday following reports he and the State Police contacted a woman who claimed she was the victim of domestic violence at the hands of one of his top advisors.

Calling those reports "the straw that broke the camel's back," the lawmakers say the bill is not an attack on Paterson.

"During the administrations of the last three governors, troubling evidence has emerged that State Troopers have been subjected to improper political interference and have engaged in acts that undermine the very fabric of our democracy," Jeffries said.

"Many of our state police officers are merely trying to do their jobs. And we want to crate and atmosphere where they can do their job free form intimidation, free from any political maneuvering," Adams said.

The lawmakers cited an incident in former governor Eliot Spitzer's administration, in which State Troopers gathered travel information about former State Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno.

Also, under George Pataki's administration, State Police got rid of a domestic dispute complaint involving a political ally.

Paterson maintains he never abused his power and has asked State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo to investigate both his office and staff.