The Joint Commission on Public Ethics today announced its director of investigations and enforcement will become the new executive director, a job that has been vacant since May.

Letizia Tagliafierro, a former aide to Gov. Andrew Cuomo, was named the commission’s executive director after a hours-long cloosed-door executive session of the ethics panel’s commissioners. Prior to closing the meeting, commissioners debated whether discussing the appointment of a new executive director required a non-public session.

Tagliafierro succeeds Ellen Biben, a former state inspector general, who was the first executive director of JCOPE when it was formed in 2012.

“Letizia will be an outstanding executive director. Her leadership skills, integrity, commitment to public service and her diverse background in government made her a terrific choice for Executive Director,” said Commission Chair Daniel J. Horwitz. “The Commission is looking forward to continuing its important role of working to restore trust in our State government. Through increased transparency, compliance training and enforcement, our public officials and those hoping to influence government decisions will be held accountable.”

Prior to her career as a prosecutor, Tagliafierro was a legislative aide to former Sen. Serfin Maltese.

She was named special counsel to the Division of Criminal Justice Services in October 2007, where she worked through April 2008.

Following that, Tagliafierro took a post as a special counsel for the state attorney general’s office in Buffalo.

When Cuomo took office in January 2011, she was named his director of intergovernmental affairs managing communications and coordination between his office and local governments.