Cuomo: ‘I will never accept a bribe’

This year, Gov. Andrew Cuomo won a third term in the office with a decisive victory over Republican Marc Molinaro. He had no serious Democratic challengers. In 2010, Mr. Cuomo ran against then-Senate Minority…

Cuomo: 'I will never accept a bribe'

This year, Gov. Andrew Cuomo won a third term in the office with a decisive victory over Republican Marc Molinaro. He had no serious Democratic challengers.

In 2010, Mr. Cuomo ran against then-Senate Minority Leader Dean Skelos and four of his GOP colleagues for leadership of the Senate. The Senate later ejected Mr. Skelos from the Democratic conference after a corruption scandal.

This year Mr. Cuomo filed an administrative law judge’s order that looked into his administration’s handling of the broad 2016 bombshell New York Times story that revealed “corruption at every level” of the Cuomo administration, including his, namely that Mr. Cuomo’s budget aide, Lawrence Schwartz, had solicited and accepted bribes in exchange for helping get a controversial project at SUNY Polytechnic Institute approved.

Mr. Cuomo has denied that Mr. Schwartz abused his position or the public trust in that story. His request for an administrative hearing date came after Mr. Skelos said he would “seek every legal remedy available,” including a lawsuit, to prevent Mr. Cuomo from calling the hearing.

And Mr. Cuomo and his attorney, Blair Horner, claim that Mr. Skelos abused his power to interfere with the administrative hearing process.

“Sen. Skelos cannot dictate the proceedings or the outcome of an administrative proceeding,” Mr. Horner said. “The governor believes the Senate should afford the plaintiffs the right to call witnesses and present evidence to justify the violations of their rights.”

A spokesman for Mr. Skelos denied the accusation, saying Mr. Cuomo was “trying to bully” and “making a needless spectacle” out of the administrative process.

The Times article focused on abuses of government, including political corruption. It raised questions about Mr. Cuomo’s handling of various corruption probes, including the state’s Buffalo Billion economic development program and the bid process for the costly Tappan Zee Bridge replacement project.

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