On the same day the subpoenas were being absorbed by the Moreland Commission on Public Corruption, the ongoing legal challenge to the commission’s power was quietly dropped in state Supreme Court.

Documents filed late Monday show the lawsuit brought by the Senate and Assembly, along with law firms that employ state lawmakers, had been resolved.

The court case was moving in that direction this month after Cuomo indicated he would close the commission down following an agreement on ethics reform in the state budget. The package of measures included an independent oversight counsel at the state Board of Elections.

On April 22, the Moreland Commission formally withdrew its subpoenas aimed at lawmakers and their outside income. The subpoenas, when issued at the time, were considered a “nuclear” option by Cuomo following a lack of agreement on ethics overhaul measures.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District dropped another shoe, and this time it landed directly on the Moreland Commission on Public Corruption, Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s now-defunct panel charged with investigating wrongdoing in state government.

As the Times reported this morning, U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara’s office has formally subpoenaed commission members for communications ranging from emails and text messages along with other documents to get a better understanding of how the panel functioned.

Notably, the federal government also asked commission members to turn over their state-issued Blackberry devices, which were used to communicate via the governor’s preferred method, PIN-to-PIN messaging.

The subpoenas suggest that federal prosecutors are indeed looking into reports that Cuomo’s office interfered with the commission’s own subpoena power when it came to the direction of its investigation.

Cuomo himself, of course, has noted it was his commission in the first place, and that any sort of involvement would be naturally, since the panel was a creature of the executive branch.

But the Moreland Commission was empowered by state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, who bestowed the power of deputy attorneys general on commission members, potentially muddying the waters of were subpoena power began and ended.

Yesterday we noted on the blog the commission’s outside contractors — one with K2 Intelligence and other another Cyber Search Corp. — provided a window into its work through its contracts as received through a Freedom of Information Law request.

The contract with K2 Intelligence showed the company was using software frequently used by federal criminal investigators to help build, in part, “dossiers on persons of interest.”

View Document by Nick Reisman