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Long IslandPoliticsSpin Cycle

Senate Dems strike back at Cuomo over ethics

ALBANY - Senate Democrats took a rare swipe at Democratic Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo Monday over dueling ethics proposals.

?"The last people we will be taking transparency advice from is the administration that, according to reports, has racked up one of the least transparent records in history,” said Mike Murphy, spokesman for the State Senate’s Democratic minority.

Lawmakers had introduced bills late last week that would have forced Cuomo to end the policy of automatically deleting most emails after 90 days. In 2010, candidate Cuomo promised to create the most transparent administration in history.

Cuomo now says he will talk to lawmakers about changing the policy good-government advocates said could destroy important records for investigators or for the public under the Freedom of Information Law, or FOIL.

Cuomo’s counsel said in a letter Monday to legislative leaders that a “threshold matter” to those talks will be the legislature’s decision to exempt itself from FOIL. The legislature exempted itself from the post-Watergate law when it passed FOIL in 1974, although in practice the legislature has adhered to it.

“If emails or documents are not available to the public, the question of retention is moot,” stated Cuomo’s counsel, Aphonso B. David.

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