On the heels of findings that former Gov. Eliot Spitzer worked with State Police to release travel records on Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno, new Gov. David Paterson has authorized Attorney General Andrew Cuomo to do an investigation of whether State Police are improperly targeting state officials.
Paterson wrote a letter to Cuomo last night giving him broad subpoena and investigatory powers to look into the State Police operations. The New York Post had the story this morning.
Cuomo said this morning he will be reviewing all facets of how State Police gather information and whether they are specifically targeting elected officials at the request of other leaders.
Cuomo said his office has had “a disturbing number of complaints” about State Police tactics.
“This is a really positive, gutsy step of leadership,” Cuomo said of Paterson on Fred Dicker’s show on 1300-AM in Albany. “I think heâ€™s saying, ‘Look weâ€™ve had evidence of real political interference in the State Police; itâ€™s unconscionable, itâ€™s not what he wants the State Police to be and heâ€™s acting. ”
A report by Albany County District Attorney David Soares on Friday found that Spitzer worked with aides and the State Police to release Bruno’s travel records to show that Bruno was using state aircraft for political purposes. Spitzer also had aides set up a New York Times interview with a former State Police leader Daniel Wiese to show that Bruno’s use of aircraft had long been a concern.
Bruno quickly credited Paterson for calling for the investigation. In fact, the Post has reported that the reason why Paterson has revealed so much of his personal life is because he was concerned State Police was gathering information on him.
“The Governorâ€™s request is timely and appropriate and Iâ€™m confident that Attorney General Cuomo will conduct a thorough and diligent investigation that will bring more clarity to this disgraceful situation on behalf of all New Yorkers who have a right to know,” Bruno said.