A photo op of U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara striding into the state Capitol that he’s shaken will not happen, at least not yet.
Late last year the federal prosecutor won convictions against former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver (D-Manhattan) and former Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos (R-Rockville Centre). On Wednesday, he declined an invitation by the Assembly’s Republican minority to talk ethics in Albany, according to the Republican minority conference.
“Mr. Bharara respectfully declined our invitation, citing his preference to address a bipartisan forum,” said Michael Fraser, spokesman for Assembly Minority Leader Brian Kolb (R-Canandaigua), who made the surprising offer a week ago. “We welcome an opportunity to participate in such an event, and will ask the other legislative leaders to extend an invitation similar to the one we offered.”
Kolb had wanted Bharara to advise the whole Assembly on ethics in annual training. Bharara has done so before, such as in his recent comments to the full Kentucky General Assembly in its ethics training.