morelandhotlineIt still works! Well, sort of.

The defunct anti-corruption panel was shut down in April 2014 following an agreement on ethics and campaign finance reform measures in the state budget.

But the commission’s impact lingers like Albany’s very own phantom menace.

“It’s the political equivalent of the Big Bang. We’re constantly seeing its echoes over time. It for the first time underscored what the word independence meant in modern day Albany, which is not so much,” said Blair Horner, NPIRG’s legislative director.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo convened the panel of district attorneys and law professors to probe legislative wrongdoing. Its work was ended in April 2014 following a package of anti-corruption and ethics measures in the budget. But the circumstances of the commission being closed are part of an ongoing review by the U.S. Attorney’s office.

“It’s not surprising that there’s these reverberations because it ran against the grain of what the governor had personally promised to do, which was let them follow their investigations without fear or favor. It was the first of the public evidence that the rhetoric did not meet the reality,” Horner said.

In the last year alone, the legislative leaders were toppled from power following their own arrests on corruption charges. Meanwhile, the legal bills related to the commission continue to be paid. This week, the comptroller’s office signed off on another $27,000 for the Assembly’s law firm.

And then there’s the commission’s hotline to report tips — it’s still functioning. To be sure, it seems unlikely anyone is checking the messages.

Give a listen: