The U.S. Attorney for Manhattan has threatened to investigate New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s administration for possible obstruction of justice and witness tampering, after the governor canceled his own anti-corruption commission, The New York Times said.
The prosecutor, Preet Bharara, issued his warning in a “sharply worded letter,” the newspaper reported. His salvo arrived after several members of the “Moreland Commission” overtly defended the Democratic governor’s handling of the panel, which was supposed to clean up politics in Albany but was shut down in March.
“At least some of those statements were prompted by calls from the governor or his emissaries, according to people with direct knowledge of the situation who were unwilling to be named for fear of reprisal,” The Times said.
Mr. Cuomo is under a microscope after The Times reported the governor’s office shut down the panel’s work when it focused on groups with ties to the governor himself.
The governor defended himself at a public appearance in Buffalo, N.Y., on Monday, citing a statement from co-chair William J. Fitzpatrick that asserted no one had interfered with his work.
But that statement contrasted with frustrations Mr. Fitzpatrick expressed to colleagues last year, when he said the governor’s office should remember the commission is an “independent” panel, The Times reported.