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Bharara Won’t Pursue Charges Against Cuomo for Moreland Commission Shutdown

By Staff

 

U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara

U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara

U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara has announced he will not pursue charges against Gov. Andrew Cuomo for shutting down the Moreland Commission on Public Corruption.

“After a thorough investigation of interference with the operation of the Moreland Commission, and its premature closing, this office has concluded that, absent any additional proof that may develop, there is insufficient evidence to prove a federal crime,” Bharara said in a statement. “We continue to have active investigations related to substantive inquiries that were being conducted by the Moreland Commission at the time of its closure.”

Cuomo had created the Moreland Commission in 2013, in what he’d said was an effort to clean up Albany’s corruption, then came under fire for agreeing to shut the commission down in March 2014, as part of a budget deal with lawmakers.

Cuomo also faced allegations, in 2014, that he’d shut down the group for investigating groups he may have had ties with.

Bharara had begun investigating the commission shortly after Cuomo disbanded it.

“We were always confident there was no illegality here, and we appreciate the US Attorney clarifying this for the public record,” Elkan Abramowitz, Cuomo’s lawyer, said in a statement.

Bharara’s office recently prosecuted two state legislators, former Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos and former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, on corruption charges in 2015.

Both Skelos and Silver have been convicted, and are currently awaiting their sentences.