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RYE BROOK – The Republican candidate for lieutenant governor on Thursday accused Democrat Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo of “obstruction of justice,” a crime, for disbanding a commission to investigate corruption in Albany after the governor struck a political deal with the Legislature for ethics legislation.
“In the world of law enforcement, where I come from, that’s called obstruction of justice,” Chemung County Sheriff Christopher Moss said at the Republican state convention. On Thursday, Republicans officially nominated Moss, 46, to be the running mate of gubernatorial candidate Rob Astorino, the Westchester County executive.
Cuomo created the panel, known as the Moreland Commission, to investigate potential violations of state election laws. He shuttered it after lawmakers agreed to some of the governor’s election-law agenda. The panel’s pending investigations ended and were turned over to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for potential further investigation.
Moss is a veteran of law enforcement, a hunter and a vocal opponent of Cuomo’s gun control law and lack of action on drilling for natural gas in upstate shale deposits.
Sen. Thomas O’Mara (R-Elmira) said he knows Moss for his “fearless leadership, his unwavering sense of what’s right, and what’s wrong.”
O’Mara, from the same Elmira home town as Moss, got the best laugh line of the last day of the Republican convention so far. He criticized Cuomo for continuing to delay his decision on whether to authorize hydraulic fracturing for natural gas trapped deep in the Marcellus Shale deposit. Environmental groups that are part of the Democratic base say the process is a public health threat and should be rejected.
“Christopher Columbus discovered America in less time than it has taken for Gov. Cuomo to decide on the Marcellus Shale,” O’Mara said to applause.
Cuomo said he’s delaying the decision until he gets further study of health effects.
Moss will be the only African-American on either party’s ticket this year.
“I wasn’t put on this ticket solely for my color,” Moss told reporters.
Moss described Astorino as a man with “a heart of gold and a spine of steel. He gets results and unlike our current governor, it’s not results from threats and intimidation.”