When David Grandeau sees the corruption at the ethics commission, he sees "the ultimate indictment of Albany." Grandeau used to sit on the commission, but was not kept on by then newly-elected Governor Spitzer. He blames them for not keeping tabs and subsequently being tainted by the corruption in Albany. He told a Senate Committee as much at a recent hearing.
The Inspector General charged the Integrity Commission's executive director with violating the public officers law, for passing on information about a probe to a key member of the Spitzer Administration. The report accused the commission members of doing nothing to stop the corruption.Who that may be, Grandeau did not say but it would probably not be anyone that many Senators know. In Albany, the way you succeed is by immersing yourself in the go-along, get-along crowd. For a majority of 62 Senators (or one State Assemblyman), to choose someone with real power to combat the ills of our state government would be a remarkable feat. Until we climb that mountain, we need people like Grandeau speaking out against the powers that be.
Grandeau was testifying at a Senate hearing on ethics reform. The Senators were examining Governor Paterson's recent proposal to reform the ethics panel, which was designed to address the flaws enumerated in the Inspector General's report. Senate Democrats have their own proposal for a new ethics commission. But Grandeau told them that simply reconfiguring the panel yet again is not the key to creating an independent, fair ethics policing unit. He says it's the people put in place to run the entities that matters. Grandeau's recommendation to lawmakers; chose an executive director and commission members that make politicians squirm.
"Look for someone that makes you uncomfortable," sad Grandeau. "Not the go-along, get-along crowd."