On July 2, 2013, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced the formation of the “Commission to Investigate Public Corruption” pursuant to the Moreland Act [Executive Law §6*] and Executive Law §63(8)** to probe systemic public corruption and the appearance of such corruption in state government, political campaigns and elections in New York State.
The Commission to Investigate Public Corruption will be tasked with thoroughly reviewing the adequacy of existing state laws, regulations and procedures involving unethical and unlawful misconduct by public officials, and the electoral process and campaign finance laws. The Commission will also examine whether existing laws have been fairly and vigorously enforced, and what changes must be made to such enforcement. During the Commission’s investigation, it will also review recent instances of reported misconduct by officials to determine causes and adequacy of laws and enforcement tools to more effectively prevent and punish this kind of misconduct in the future. The Commission is directed to make recommendations to toughen and improve existing laws and procedures.
Areas where the Commission will focus its investigation include but are not limited to:
The Commission will issue a preliminary report on its initial findings and recommendations by December 1, 2013.
Mr. Fitzpatrick has served as Onondaga County's District Attorney [D.A.] for the past 28 years. Prior to serving as D.A., he was a defense attorney. In 2007 D.A. Fitzpatrick was appointed as the New York State representative to the National District Attorney's Association, and he was elected Secretary in 2011. In 2010, New York State Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman appointed D.A. Fitzpatrick to the New York State Permanent Sentencing Commission. He is a graduate of Syracuse University and Syracuse University Law School.
Mr. Williams, Jr. is a partner in the law firm Vladeck, Waldman, Elias & Engelhard as a partner in January 2009. Prior to joining the firm, Mr. Williams was a Deputy General Counsel and the Chief Compliance Officer at Time Inc. Before working at Time, Mr. Williams was in private practice, and served as an Assistant United States Attorney in the Southern District of New York. Prior to becoming a federal prosecutor, Mr. Williams was an Assistant District Attorney in the New York County District Attorney’s Office. He is a graduate of Amherst College and the University of Michigan Law School in Ann Arbor.
*** All members of the Commission are attorneys licensed to practice in New York State as are a number of the members of the Special Advisers to the Commission and a numbers of those serving on the Commission's staff