Perdido 03

Perdido 03

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Indicted Republican State Senator Is Close Cuomo Ally

This is in the Capital NY story on the indictment of the second ranking Republican in the State Senate, Tom Libous, on making false statements to the FBI:

U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara subpoenaed records from JCOPE earlier this year, as he took over the mantle of a defunct anti-corruption commission that Governor Andrew Cuomo convened in 2012. Bharara criticized Cuomo, a Democrat, for shutting down his special Moreland Commission in exchange for legislative agreement on changes to the Board of Elections, tweaks to the state's bribery laws as well as a pilot program of public campaign finance.

According to the one-count indictment unsealed on Tuesday, Libous is being charged with making false statements to an F.B.I. agent in June of 2010, when agents first began a probe into Matt Libous' employment. The indictment said Libous falsely stated that he did not know when his son began working for Mangone's law firm, was unaware that Hiffa's firm paid part of his son's salary and had never made any of the alleged promises of work.


A Cuomo spokesman did not immediately comment, but the governor and Libous were known to have a close working relationship, with Libous at times serving as a back channel between the Democratic governor and Republicans in the Legislature.

The men have often appeared jovial together, and Cuomo made a surprise appearance in Libous' Southern Tier district last year to help the senator mark a personal occasion: Matthew Libous' wedding.

The NY Times makes the connection between Cuomo and Libous even more directly:

The charges were brought by the office of the United States attorney for the Southern District of New York, Preet Bharara. Mr. Bharara’s prosecutors are conducting unrelated investigations focused on more than half a dozen other state legislators based on inquiries that had been conducted by the Moreland Commission, an anti-coruption panel that Mr. Cuomo created last July and shut down at the end of March.

The indictment of Senator Libous effectively could deprive the governor of his most powerful and sympathetic ally within the Senate Republican majority. But it comes just weeks after Mr. Cuomo made a break of his own, agreeing for the first time to help Democrats in an aggressive effort to capture control of the chamber.

The senator is one of Mr. Cuomo’s closest allies in the Legislature. The two men are so fond of each other that Mr. Cuomo attended Matthew Libous’s wedding reception last year.

In an appearance at Binghamton University last week, Mr. Cuomo praised Mr. Libous at length, complimenting “his leadership and his character.” The governor praised their ability to work together to produce results, even though they are from different political parties, as an example of “the difference between the old Albany and the new Albany.”

“He is one of the really special human beings in the New York State Legislature,” Mr. Cuomo said of Mr. Libous. “And he is one of the natural leaders for the entire legislative body – Democrats and Republicans, both houses. And he’s been a great mentor and a great friend to me.”

Did the Moreland Commission that Cuomo shut down have the dope on Libous and not do anything with the information?

Did Cuomo or Cuomo's ally on the panel, Regina Calcaterra (who is still being paid her full salary despite the commission having been shut down months ago) have any knowledge of the particulars around the Libous case and do anything to try and help him?

In short, did Cuomo pull strings to help his friend and Republican ally, Tom Libous?

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