A significant blow was dealt to New York’s ethics oversight on Monday, as State Supreme Court Justice Thomas Marcelle declared the newly established Commission on Ethics and Lobbying in Government unconstitutional.
Marcelle, a Republican judge elected last November, opined that the commission’s creation by the Legislature lacked the required constitutional amendment and that its appointment process for its 11 members fell short of necessary government oversight.
The ruling is perceived as a victory for former Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who faced scrutiny by the commission over his use of public resources for his book after his resignation amid allegations of sexual harassment. Cuomo had previously challenged the commission’s constitutionality.
Reports indicate that Gov. Hochul’s office intends to challenge the decision in collaboration with the state attorney general’s office.
Officials from the Commission on Ethics and Lobbying in Government voiced their disagreement with Monday’s ruling and reaffirmed their commitment to upholding New York’s ethics and lobbying laws.
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