Grandeau Plans His Own Ethics Watchdog
David Grandeau, outspoken blogger and former executive director of the now-defunct Temporary Commission on Lobbying, has made no secret of his disdain for the job the Joint Commission on Public Ethics, an agency he calls “J-Joke” that was created by the 2011 ethics overhaul measure.
Grandeau, who brought an ethics complaint to JCOPE on Tuesday on behalf of his client Chevron Corp. against Comptroller Tom DiNapoli, says this is the kind of work JCOPE ought to be doing.
“JCOPE has one charge and that’s to be the regulator of ethics and integrity of New York state and public officials and unfortunately I think this an example of the ethics Chernobyl that’s ocurring here in Albany and JCOPE’s the regulator. They’re not watching what’s going on at Chernobyl and we’re going to end up with meltdown after meltdown if they don’t. I said it before I gave them plenty of time to prove themselves. I think they failed. I hope this is simple enough for them to go through the motions and ask DiNapoli the questions under oath.”
Now he plans to take matters into his own hands. Grandeau told Liz on the show last night that he plans his own non-profit organization called “Ethics Watch” to act as a sort of A-Team on pay-to-play scandals.
“I’ve decided I’m going to create a not-for-profit called Ethics Watch to do this job,” Grandeau said. “This material could have been done by anybody. It didn’t have to be done by me. It didn’t have to be done by JCOPE. It’s out there, it’s available.”
Grandeau’s complaint against DiNapoli claims the Democratic comptroller urged Chevron to settle a lawsuit after receiving campaign contributions and offers of trips and meetings with celebrities from lawyers who arranged the suit.
DiNapoli’s office denies he ever met with celebrities or took the trips and called the complaint without merit. Grandeau himself says there’s no evidence the campaign contributions or the trip offers directly resulted in DiNapoli pressuring the oil company into settling the suit. New York’s pension fund is a shareholder in Chevron.
Regardless of not being able to prove a quid pro quo without getting DiNapoli under oath, Grandeau says it’s important for JCOPE or his own organization to look at campaign contributions and the effect those have on public policy.
“Going down the road I think there’s a role to play for Ethics Watch. They should be doing the pay to play scandals. Invest your time. Take a look at the campaign contributions. Take a look at what elected officials do in exchange for those campaign contributions,” he said.
|Print article||This entry was posted by Nick Reisman on November 21, 2012 at 10:51 am, and is filed under Ethics, Fundraising. Follow any responses to this post through RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.|