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Now a candidate, Rice resigns as corruption panel co-chair

Nassau DA Kathleen Rice co-chairs the Cuomo panel

Nassau DA Kathleen Rice co-chairs the Cuomo panel to explore public corruption. (Credit: Jason Andrew)

Now that her candidacy in the 4th Congressional District is official, Democrat Kathleen Rice has resigned as co-chair of Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s special commission to investigate public corruption.

In a letter Wednesday to Cuomo, Rice, the Nassau district attorney, writes that, “as I announce this week that I am seeking a new public office, I find it crucial to insulate and safeguard the Commission’s work from potential distractions posed by a high-profile political campaign involving one of its senior members.”

Rice has helped lead the Moreland Commission panel since last July in its investigations of potential New York election law violation. She wrote to Cuomo that she believed the commission’s work “has helped to give New Yorkers an historic opportunity to demand and shape the vital reforms we need to restore trust in our state’s political system.”

Cuomo’s panel late last year issued a preliminary report of what it called the "pay to play" culture in state government. It found examples of alleged wrongdoing involving state grants, campaign contributions and reimbursements to lawmakers and recommended publicly financing campaigns to limit the influence of big donors, closing loopholes that now allow companies to ignore the current state contribution limits and toughening penalties for bribery.

Rice had said that investigations would continue in 2014.

With Yancey Roy

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