Winner: Cuomo Report Allows Agency to Move Forward

George Winner

September 08, 2009

Albany, N.Y., September 8–State Senator George Winner (R-C-I, Elmira) welcomed a report today from Attorney General Andrew Cuomo that found no evidence of a so-called “rogue” unit of rank-and-file Troopers within the New York State Police that orchestrated political attacks but uncovered, according to the report, “certain troubling situations in which, at the highest levels of the State Police, political considerations played an improper and determinative role.”

Winner, who as chairman of the state Senate Investigations Committee in 2007 led a months-long investigation of the administration of former Governor Eliot Spitzer following a report from Cuomo that pointed to wrongdoing among several of Spitzer’s top aides, released the following statement:

“We appreciated Attorney General Cuomo’s straightforward investigation of the Spitzer administration in 2007, which promptly uncovered wrongdoing at the highest levels of New York government.

“The attorney general has now undertaken a thorough examination of some of the suspicions that have existed since then, and I’m hopeful that we move forward having secured the long-standing integrity of one of the nation’s elite law enforcement agencies. 

“It was important to remove any stain of political suspicion from the rank-and-file Troopers themselves, and the attorney general has done good work in this regard.  It also appears that the attorney general will continue to pursue and resolve what he’s called ‘troubling situations’ that may have compromised the top levels of the agency, and I would encourage him to do so to the fullest extent possible.

“Overall the report serves to once again underscore the overriding need for public oversight agencies willing and able to undertake independent and thorough investigations of every branch of government.  Since Troopergate, we’ve clearly initiated a push to put in place government watchdogs who can do the job and who have the tools they need to do the job.  We need to keep driving toward greater independence and stricter oversight.”