ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - New York's powerful new ethics board has refused to release to the public any record of the secret vote to hire a longtime aide to Gov. Andrew Cuomo as its $148,000-a-year executive director.
The Joint Commission on Public Ethics, which has broad powers to investigate legislators and other officials, denied The Associated Press request for the records under the state Freedom of Information Law.
The board voted Feb. 2 to hire Ellen Biben.
The commission cites a provision of executive law and its own policy for keeping its records confidential and its meetings secret. Board members can be charged with a misdemeanor for talking about proceedings.
Bill Samuels of the New Roosevelt reform group calls the decision "disturbing" and part of a "control culture" under the Cuomo administration.
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