GOP leader: State corruption probe should target Lt. Gov. Robert Duffy

The head of the state Republican Party said Monday that Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo's corruption commission should investigate his running mate, Lt. Gov. Robert Duffy, for possible conflicts of interest.

GOP chairman Ed Cox noted that Duffy last week admitted interviewing for a high-paying post with the Rochester Business Alliance earlier this month. Duffy is the former Rochester mayor and, in his role as the state's No. 2 executive, has headed Cuomo's economic development councils, which have divvied up some of the state's discretionary spending over the past three years.

Cox said Cuomo's Commission to Investigate Public Corruption -- often called the Moreland Commission -- should review Duffy's actions.

"If Duffy indeed failed to disclose the nature of his relationship with the Rochester Business Alliance to Governor Cuomo, that would represent a major violation of state ethics laws," Cox said in a statement.

"The only way to determine whether or not the state's second-ranking public official committed an ethics violation is for the Moreland Commission to conduct a thorough investigation. I urge them to do so immediately," Cox continued. "If this already compromised Moreland Commission on Corruption is not willing to investigate the second-highest elected official in the executive branch for what appears to be a clear violations of the ethics laws, they should pack up and go home."

The Cuomo administration declined to comment.

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