Corruption panel eyes lawmakers' outside business

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ALBANY -- The commission investigating public corruption has sent letters to all state legislators asking for information regarding private law clients and outside business interests, officials confirmed Friday.

But lawmakers could decline, noting that they filed new personal financial disclosure just this summer and complied with existing law, one source said.

The Commission to Investigate Public Corruption, launched by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo in July, sent letters asking to see lawmakers' client lists and other information -- especially regarding "employment income over $20,000 from any single source."

"The Commission is interested in understanding the situations and factors concerning public service and private business activities, whether there are real or perceived conflicts, and how such conflicts may be redressed or eliminated," reads a copy of the letter to lawmakers obtained by Newsday.

The commission also asked legislators who are attorneys to provide a list of clients "in which you are the attorney of record."

Last month, the panel subpoenaed large New York City real estate developers. It is expected to begin public hearings later this month. The commission is charged with reviewing state election laws and coming up with recommendations to prevent corruption.

Legislators recently filed new financial disclosure forms that required them to provide more details than in years past.

A spokesman for Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver (D-Manhattan) didn't return calls for comment. A spokesman for Senate co-leader Dean Skelos (R-Rockville Centre) declined to comment.

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