The Moreland Commission panel was previously praised by Governor Cuomo as being a “phenomenal success” in battling corruption. According to a report on Monday, August 4ty, the commission had 15 cases pending against lawmakers when Cuomo decided to pull the plug on it.
According to reports by the Albany Times-Union, a few Democrats in the Assembly were examined by investigators, but the majority of their targets were Republicans in the state Senate.
The paper said that before Cuomo was able to shut it down on March 29th, two cases had already been referred to federal prosecutors by the commission.
The NY Post was told by a source close to the commission that one of the cases that were forwarded to Brooklyn US Attorney Loretta Lynch involved Brooklyn Assemblyman Dov Hikind.
Maimonides Medical Center in Brooklyn confirmed that it was subpoenaed by the panel last year. Tens of thousands of dollars have been spent by the hospital over the years to advertise Hikind’s popular radio show, but the income from the hospital or other advertisers were not reported by Hikind until the issue was raised last year by Crain’s New York.
He proceeded to amend his financial-disclosure forms dating back to 2006.
Lynch’s office declined to comment and Hikind’s office refused to respond to all attempts to contact them.
The second case that was sent to the feds involves the Republican Buffalo State Sen. George Maziarz, The Post’s source said. Earlier this year, the 62nd District senator announced that he would be ending his almost 20 years in office and not running for re-election. Questions are facing Maziarz regarding unitemized campaign checks, amounting to $137,000, which was written out to “cash.” Payments to his campaign treasurer daughter’s softball team along with $60,000 which was never reported to the state Board of Elections.
The commission also questioned the $125,000, half of which was not even reported, which Maziarz’s campaign spent at Target, BJ’s Wholesale Club and other retailers. Maziarz responded in an e-mail that he has “not been contacted by either entity about per diem expenditures or anything else.”
A spokeswoman for the US attorney in the Northern District declined to comment on whether the office was investigating Maziarz. Also no comment was given by Senate Republican Campaign Committee spokesman Scott Reif.
The Times-Union reported that the commission tried to hand over cases to Albany DA David Soares, who said he didn’t have the resources to pursue them. Soares spokeswoman Cecilia Walsh would not comment.