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Lopez scandal: Batra's latest blast at Cuomo, post-JCOPE
Ravi Batra, the lawyer who at one point was retained by Nassau Executive Ed Mangano to advise him on government “streamlining” but quit without charging the county, has issued a wide-ranging clarification on his resignation from the state's joint ethics board. Batra was an appointee of Brooklyn Democratic Senator John Sampson. He escalates his charges that Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo improperly and illegally big-footed the commission. Fringe? Maverick? Loose cannon? Explosive anyway. The text:
“I could no longer serve as an independent commissioner blinded by rogue staff doing things that Jcope had not voted on yet or even knew about at time of voting or helping to create “super commissioners,” and then to have the governor, who is himself subject to Jcope, illegally seek to become exempt by wielding a Moreland-sledgehammer to enslave Jcope to do his bidding. I felt like a judge having a gun put to my head to sign an order. All I could do was leave the bench with intact-honor and intact-independence, and face the attacks from all whose lives depend upon those who see themselves powerful and above the law, and wish to destroy “checks and balances."
“New York has tasted steamrollering, and didn't like it. From our precious prince, we expect statecraft, not cracking legally required independence with a sledgehammer. Above-the-law status, no matter how attractive at times leads to dictatorships. New York is the Empire State, but in a republic.