Senator Golden Says First Step Taken on Public Integrity Commission, but the Journey Has Just Begun

Martin J. Golden

May 19, 2009

Senator Martin J. Golden (R,C,I - Brooklyn) today commended the Governor for accepting the resignation of Herbert Teitlebaum, but urged him to introduce legislation which will create a truly independent government integrity watchdog. Last week, Senator Golden urged the Governor to introduce legislation to create a new commission tasked with policing State government and offered to work with him to craft the bill.

"The people of this great State deserve to know that their public officials are doing the right thing for them. Governor Spitzer was elected to return integrity, honesty and to deliver reform for New York. The flawed commission he created does not work and ‘Troopergate’ and its aftermath proves that. We need to create a new commission which will truly serve the people," said Senator Golden.

Last week, in addition to Herbert Teitlebuam, Governor Paterson called for all 12 members of the commission to resign, leaving only Michael Cherkasky. But the members have so far refused to resign.

"We all remember how Client 9 made New York State a national laughingstock. New York went from being the greatest State in the United States to being fodder for late night talk hosts. New Yorkers deserve better. The findings that members of the Public Integrity Commission were part of the scandal opens old wounds. We need to start again. We need to do what is right. Revisiting this with new legislation is the only way to go," continued Senator Golden.

"The bottom line is that we found that at least one member of the Public Integrity Commission had no integrity. We should scrap the entire commission. It was flawed, it was a pawn to the Governor. When we needed a guard dog, we were given a lapdog. What we need to do is create a government watchdog. A watchdog with teeth that is willing to attack corruption and greed wherever it finds it," concluded Senator Golden.