Democratic candidate for lieutenant governor Kathy Hochul on Monday said it was “hard to fathom” why observers would find it improper that Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office sought to play a role in the work of the subpoena-empowered Moreland Commission To Investigate Public Corruption.

Hochul, in Lake George earlier this morning to meet with local officials, told Time Warner Cable News that Cuomo wanted to tackle corruption in Albany when he took office in 2011 in order to turn around state government’s poor reputation.

She reiterated much of what Cuomo has said: He created the commission, and it reports back to him.

“He created a commission to start tackling these challenges because when he came to Albany, it had such a negative reputation for all these ethical violations and he felt he needed to do something about it. I admire that,” Hochul said. “The commission functioned, it reports to the governor, it was created by the governor. So any thought that involvement with the governor’s office or conversations is improper, it’s really hard to fathom where that comes from to be honest with you.”

Cuomo, in Buffalo this morning, gave a lengthy defense of the Moreland Commission’s work, insisting that while his office sought input on the panel, the commission’s members demonstrated independence by not heeding the request from secretary to the governor Larry Schwartz to claw back a subpoena.