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CUOMO GROSSLY MISLEADING NEWS MEDIA ON PUBLIC FINANCE COMMISSION DISASTER: NEW YORK STATE CONSERVATIVE PARTY
Brooklyn – October 30…“Governor Andrew Cuomo is blatantly misleading the news media and the public in his effort to conceal catastrophic flaws in his Public Campaign Finance Commission, the not-so-thinly-veiled body he created in the 2019 State Budget to exact revenge on political enemies,” New York State Conservative Party Chairman Gerard Kassar today charged.
“His spokesman cited incorrect statute yesterday in an attempt to deflect attention from Cuomo’s most critical Commission error to date: Its members failed to take the required Oath of Office. As a result — under clear State law — any actions the commissioners have taken thus far are nullified. They were not conducted lawfully,” Chairman Kassar said.
The Conservative Party cited clear and long-established State law requiring Public Campaign Finance commissioners to swear an Oath of Office before conducting official state business, which they did not do (below).
Article XIII, Section 1 of the New York State Constitution states that:
Members of the Legislature and all officers, executive and judicial, except such inferior officers as may be by law exempted, shall, before they enter on the duties of their respective offices, take and subscribe the following oath or affirmation: “I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support the Constitution of the United States, and the Constitution of the State of New York, and that I will faithfully discharge the duties of the office of according to the best of my ability.
The Constitutional Article is codified in Public Officers Law Section 10 which states:
Every officer shall take and file the Oath of Office required by law, and every judicial officer of the Unified Court System, in addition, shall file a copy of said oath in the Office of the Court Administration before he shall be entitled to enter upon the discharge of any of his official duties.
Public Officers Law Section 2 defines the term ‘state officer’ which:
…includes every officer for whom all the electors of the State are entitled to vote,
members of the Legislature, Justices of the Supreme Court, Regents of the
University, and every officer appointed by one or more state officers, or by the Legislature, and authorized to exercise his official function throughout the entire state, or without limitation to any political subdivision of the State.
Attorney and Erie County Conservative Chairman Ralph Lorigo, who also serves as Conservative Party Vice Chairman elaborated: “Public Officers Law Section 30 provides that the office of a public officer becomes vacant when the public officer refuses or neglects to take and file his or her Oath of Office within 30 days of appointment,” he said.
“The Governor would have you believe that there is an exception codified in Public Officers Law Section 73 for public officers who receive no compensation or are compensated on a per diem basis. Clearly this is not the case. Section 73 only applies to the Ethics Law sections and Disclosure. That is clear when Section 73 starts with the words ‘As used in this Section’, Chairman Lorigo said.
“Governor Cuomo will be admitting his deception,” Mr. Lorigo continued, “if these nine commissioners do, in fact, file an Oath of Office at this late juncture. But even if they do, Section 30 clearly points out that work done previously, and unlawfully, is negated. Attempting to file an Oath of Office, in accordance with the statutes at this late date, would render the commission unable to complete its task within the statute time frame.
“Governor Cuomo should stop with the shenanigans and allow the duly-elected State Legislature to do its job. Only it can create or amend State Election Law,” Mr. Lorigo concluded.