Suffolk County Executive Steve Levy announced Jan. 6 he’d complain to the state Public Integrity Commission that a group consisting mainly of Latino legislators violated the public officers’ law by warning that supporters of Levy for governor would be deemed “persona non grata” on “issues decided by state-level lawmakers.”
The commission, however, doesn’t cover the legislature.
A leading Levy detractor, Assemb. Phil Ramos (D-Central Islip), said: “If Steve Levy has aspirations to become governor, you’d think he’d first learn how the government works.” Ramos disputed Levy’s earlier claim he and others in the lawmakers' ad-hoc group implied a choke-off of grants for certain nonprofits.
Nonprofits cannot support candidates, and the Assembly lacks such authority, Ramos said. “He is just out of control,” Ramos said -- even drawing a comparison to a Communist country where government officials can regulate political speech.
Levy campaign spokeswoman Rene Babich said Levy believes a potentially criminal threat was issued by the legislators -- and will notify the Legislative Ethics Commission, the Albany district attorney, and possibly others. The quotes he used are based on a media advisory issued by the anti-Levy lawmakers.