DA mum about corruption panel's work - Press-Republican: Local News

DA mum about corruption panel's work

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Posted: Saturday, August 16, 2014 3:28 am

MALONE — Franklin County District Attorney Derek Champagne served on the Moreland Commission to look at political corruption, but he is not free to speak about it.

"All I can say on the record is that due to the federal investigation, I cannot comment at this time," he told the Press-Republican.

"At such a time when the federal investigation is concluded, I'd be more than happy to speak about any and all aspects of the Moreland Commission."

Champagne and Essex County District Attorney Kristy Sprague were among 25 officials statewide to be named last July to Gov. Andrew Cuomo's Commission to Investigate Corruption, convened by the governor when his Clean Up Albany legislation package did not make it through the State Legislature last year.

The governor had said if the legislation failed, he would create the commission to look at wrongdoing in Albany as a way to restore the public's faith in state government.

But Cuomo is now being accused of shutting down the commission's work after just nine months because of subpoenas and other material the commission requested that have allegedly uncovered possible questionable tactics and actions by the governor and members of his administration.

A federal prosecutor obtained all of the defunct commission's work product and files and has launched an investigation, which is why, Champagne says, he is not allowed to discuss the commission's work.

Champagne has been district attorney in Franklin County since 2002 and is running this fall to become the county's second Family Court judge.

Sprague did not reply to Press-Republican requests for comment.

Email Denise A. Raymo: draymo@pressrepublican.com