Corruption scandals will lead to ethics reforms: Cuomo

Governor Andrew Cuomo

Governor Andrew Cuomo (Credit: Governor Andrew Cuomo (Getty Images))

Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Monday he will push for major ethics reform in light of the recent political scandals that rocked Albany and City Hall.

Cuomo spoke about the indictments of city and state elected officials in an alleged conspiracy to rig the mayoral election on the "The Capitol Pressroom" public radio show and said it created a prime moment for legislatures to act.

"You can make major reforms when you have the people's attention and I think we have the people's attention and that's a good thing," Cuomo told host Susan Arbetter.

Last week, State Sen. Malcolm Smith, City Councilman Dan Halloran an others were indicted on charges that they bribed GOP leaders in Queens and the Bronx in exchange for political endorsements. Federal prosecutors also charged Assemb. Eric Stevenson with accepting bribes in an unrelated case.

Cuomo suggested a limit on campaign contributions and member item spending, changing the rules for the way political parties nominate candidates, strong prosecution for and other ethics reform policies but didn't give specifics.

"There's no doubt we can clean up our electoral process," he said.

Cuomo denied a report that said he wanted to remove Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver from his leadership position in light of the scandals, saying the alleged crimes didn't represent the entire governing body.

"These people ... decided to break the law," he said.

"I don't know what culpability you could place on anyone but those individuals."

Tags: NEWS , Andrew cuomo , Capitol Newsroom , Malcolm Smith , Dan Halloran , Eric Stevenson , Ivan Pereira , election 2013 , ARTICLE , AMNY , HOLD

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