Lt. Gov. Robert Duffy has withdrawn his name from consideration for a position with the Rochester Business Alliance and has committed to staying on as lieutenant governor through 2014, according to a report.
Melissa DeRosa, Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s director of communications, confirmed Duffy interviewed for the job on Oct. 5 without notifying the Cuomo administration beforehand, the Times Union of Albany reported Friday. DeRosa could not immediately be reached for comment Friday.
DeRosa also said Duffy committed to stay on through his first term and “recused himself from any matters involving the RBA going forward,” a move she said was “out of an abundance of caution,” according to the report.
Cuomo officials and Duffy himself had declined to say in recent weeks whether the lieutenant governor had been seeking the RBA’s soon-to-be-vacant position of president and CEO. As recently as Wednesday, Duffy didn’t answer directly when asked twice whether he had interviewed.
Also on Wednesday, Cuomo said he hadn’t spoke with Duffy about the Rochester business group. When asked whether he and Duffy had discussed the job, Cuomo said: “No.”
“I don’t know anything about the Rochester Business Alliance,” Cuomo said Wednesday. “I’ll have my conversation with the lieutenant governor next year when I’ve made my political decisions and we’re in the political season.”
Duffy’s interview raises a number of ethical questions given his role as the head of Cuomo’s regional economic-development councils, government watchdogs have said. Outgoing RBA President and CEO Sandra Parker, who this week delayed her impending retirement into 2014, sits on the Finger Lakes council, at times filling in for the panel’s co-chairs when they’ve been unavailable to travel to Albany.
Parker and Duffy have close ties. Duffy in May purchased Parker’s home on Keuka Lake in Yates County for $527,000.