Wall Street Journal indicates U.S. Attorney might be bringing cases that Moreland Commission failed to refer to state prosecutors
WSJ says Federal investigators are exploring whether they can take up cases of officials the Moreland Commission were looking into
WSJ also says Federal prosecutors are interested if New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo or his staff directed the Moreland Commission not to refer cases to various district attorneys for prosecution
According to the Wall Street Journal, "Federal prosecutors are examining whether New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo or his staff directed an anticorruption commission to not refer cases to district attorneys for prosecution, according to people familiar with the matter. *** The Moreland Commission to Investigate Public Corruption, formed by Mr. Cuomo in 2013, turned up evidence of potentially criminal wrongdoing by from six to 12 lawmakers, The Wall Street Journal has reported, citing a commissioner and people familiar with the matter. *** Before being shut down by the governor in March, the panel made some criminal referrals and sent investigative files to the U.S. attorney for the Northern District and the state attorney general. *** Now, prosecutors are looking closely at whether anyone in the administration encouraged the commission to avoid referring cases to Albany District Attorney David Soares ..." (See "Federal Investigation Looks at Cuomo and Moreland Commission Referrals" by Erica Orden & Christopher M. Matthews, 8/7/14, Wall Street Journal [http://online.wsj.com/articles/federal-investigation-looks-at-cuomo-and-moreland-commission-referrals-1407459680]).
The WSJ report goes on to state that "Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara's prosecutors are now conducting a three-tiered investigation, according to people familiar with the matter. *** First, they are exploring whether they can take up cases the Moreland Commission was investigating. *** Second, they are investigating whether the Cuomo administration interfered in the commission's work, and why the commission was disbanded. *** Finally, prosecutors have indicated they want to know whether the governor's office pressured several commissioners to issue statements in recent weeks disputing the notion the administration had interfered in its investigations, these people said."
The WSJ article ends with a bit of a whimper: "[A]ccording to a person briefed on the investigation, if U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara's office "brings one case that the Moreland Commission failed to refer for prosecution, the investigation will be worth it..." But, I'm sure that is just the soft sell indicating a rather confident investigator-prosecutor.
I'm expect that if the Feds bring one case, there will be more than one. At any rate, none of what the WSJ had to say is good news for Governor Cuomo or several members of the New York State Senate.