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Libous: No Word From Ethics Panel on Ryan Complaint

Bob Joseph/WNBF News [April 16, 2012]
New York State Senator Thomas Libous says he has not been informed by the Joint Commission on Public Ethics about the status of a complaint filed last spring.

Binghamton mayor Matthew Ryan told reporters April 16 he was mailing a formal complaint to the ethics panel seeking a review of possible influence peddling by Libous.

The senator, a Binghamton Republican, had called on the commission to handle the matter in an “expedited manner.”

But it’s not clear what JCOPE has done with respect to the complaint.

Speaking on WNBF Radio’s Binghamton Now program Thursday, Libous said he hasn’t heard from the commission on where things stand.

Libous said he hasn’t been interviewed in connection with the complaint or answered any questions from the commission related to the review.

Libous, the Senate deputy majority leader, said he’s waiting to be “cooperative” with JCOPE as it handles the matter.

When asked whether he wants to be interviewed by the commission concerning the complaint, Libous said, “it’s not my call.”

Libous said he believes JCOPE has received “several hundred complaints on legislators this year” because of “politics and other things.” He said the commission has a process to go through and he’s “no different” than any other legislator who was the subject of a complaint.

Libous agreed with an observation that JCOPE doesn’t appear to have handled his case expeditiously. But, he said, “it’s not in my hands.”

The Binghamton Republican agreed with the assessment that the commission may never publicly reveal it’s determination in reviewing the complaint.

Libous said he believes changes should be made in the way complaints are handled. He also noted the concerns he and others expressed after information about his case appeared to have been leaked to the news media.

Libous recalled that “reporters knew things before” others did. He said he believes the “whole process needs to be revamped.”

The senator said “it is a process that is flawed… that is my opinion and I’ll leave it at that.”

Libous said it would be “inappropriate” for him to say more now because of the complaint filed involving him.

 

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