Tuesday, September 13, 2016
An Albany judge has ordered Mayor de Blasio’s Campaign for One New York to hand over most of the records requested by a state ethics panel probing whether the group violated state lobbying laws.
The nonprofit, which had taken in more than $4.4 million since January 2014 to promote the mayor’s agenda, had refused to fully comply with two subpoenas issued by the Joint Commission on Public Ethics seeking documents, claiming the panel was embarking on a fishing expedition.
But Supreme Court Justice Denise Hartman wrote Thursday, “The record before the court does not indicate that the challenged subpoenas constitute harassment or impermissible ‘fishing.’”
The ruling means CONY, which started disbanding in March, must hand over reams of documents and communications — including those between it and de Blasio — between 2014 to 2016.
Only four documents, which Hartman will review in chambers, and all documents dating back to 2013 were excluded from the ruling, which was first reported by PoliticoNY.
“We are pleased with the decision reaffirming JCOPE’s authority to enforce the state’s lobbying laws,” said the panel’s chair, Daniel Horwitz.
CONY lawyer Laurence Laufer said he was reviewing the decision.
He continued to maintain that JCOPE — which has some members appointed by Gov. Cuomo, a de Blasio enemy — was engaged in a “politicized” probe.
The mayor said that the administration disagrees with the judge’s decision and “we’re exploring appellate options at this point.”