Research

New York State Commission on Government Integrity Investigation Project Files

Held by the New York State Archives


Overview of the Records

Repository:

New York State Archives

New York State Education Department

Cultural Education Center

Albany, NY 12230

Summary:
This series documents the Commission on Government Integrity's investigation into violations of ethical or legal standards of conduct by public officials and employees. Particularly well documented are investigations of judicial selection, government procurement and contracting, and improper practices of New York City officials and employees.
Creator:
Title:
Quantity:
293 cubic feet
Inclusive Dates:
1975-1989
Bulk Dates:
(bulk 1987-1989)
Series Number:
15823

Arrangement

Arranged by topic (such as judicial selection, contracting, etc.).

Scope and Content Note

This series documents the commission's conduct of its investigation into violations of ethical or legal standards of conduct by public officials and employees. Particularly well documented are investigations of judicial selection, government procurement and contracting, and improper practices of New York City officials and employees.

Judicial selection investigation records include background research files containing materials such as: legislative bills and proposed constitutional amendments regarding nomination and election of judges and reform of the court system, and editorials regarding the bills and amendments; reports, articles, and publications regarding various provisions of the election law such as contribution limitations, expenditure limitations, public disclosure, and nomination to office; reports on laws and regulations regarding judicial selection in other states and comparative data between states regarding judicial selection; summary and analysis of the Ethics in Government Act and the New York State Governmental Accountability, Audit and Internal Control Act; opinions on judicial ethics from the Office of Court Administration; transcript of public hearing on judicial selection held March 3, 1988 in New York City, and digest of a March 9 New York City hearing, including testimony by New York State Chief Judge Sol Wachtler and other judges, justices, and representatives of bar and legal associations, former governor Malcolm Wilson, and Assemblyman Saul Weprin; procedure and policy statement of, and New York City Mayor's Executive Order No. 10, April 11, 1978, establishing, the Mayor's Committee on the Judiciary to nominate judges for appointment to New York City family and criminal courts and for interim appointment to New York City civil courts;

and newspaper articles and editorials and other articles, especially from law journals, regarding methods of selecting judges (elective vs. appointive), the influence of political parties in elections, mandatory retirement, and election procedures.

The judicial selection investigation records also include confidential commission files documenting the investigation in detail and containing such materials as: reports, transcripts, and notes of personal and telephone interviews discussing alternative methods of judicial selection and instances in which individuals apparently paid political organizations in return for nominations; outline of topics covered in interviews, such as political activity, campaign contributions by political organizations, and influence of political organizations; data on money contributed to political organizations and attendance at party functions; reports connecting election to contributions to political organizations; election campaign financial disclosure statements; computer printouts of expenditures from house and campaign accounts of political organizations; commission reports and speeches on judicial selection and government ethics in general; digests of testimony in public and private judicial selection hearings; biographical information and synopsis of views of persons testifying at judicial selection hearings; memoranda on judicial selection methods for each court; Office of Court Administration rules regarding judicial selection; handwritten notes on tips received regarding election tampering; computer printout listing fees/commissions approved by judges for persons appointed guardians, conservators, etc. in court proceedings;

and recommendations for an appointive judicial selection system and for a reform of the current elective system, and a comparison of the commission's recommendations with the governor's and with other proposed legislation.

Documentation of the commission's investigation of government procurement and contracting includes: information on Department of Transportation contracts such as names of contractors, amounts of bids and contracts, purpose of contracts, contracting irregularities, and possible correlation between Department of Transportation contractors and contributions to campaigns of Senate and Assembly members; computer printouts listing vendor contracts with New York City government agencies; local government ordinances and statements of practice regarding procurement and contracting; and memoranda, articles, and other materials regarding misuse of public funds, bid-rigging, and other improper practices and conflicts of interest by public officials.

Documentation of the commission's investigation of alleged improper practices of New York City employees, such as patronage, no-show jobs, and taking payoffs, includes records regarding their hiring, retention, promotion, demotion, resignation, termination, and salary increases or decreases. These records include: employee time and leave records; private hearing testimony; summaries of interviews with employees; copies of income tax returns; resumes and job applications; New York City Department of Investigation background investigation reports; and performance evaluations.

The series also contains audit reports, news clippings, internal commission memoranda, and other records documenting a number of other investigations of alleged misconduct of local or state officials as well as other issues the commission considered investigating. Among these other investigations were: patronage in Buffalo; conflicts of interest relating to development in the town of Clifton Park; and Department of Environmental Conservation awards of oil spill cleanup contracts without going to bid.

The series also includes copies of indictments, trial transcripts, and related legal documents concerning government litigation against state or local employees such as: New York City employees charged with mail fraud; state senators and staff charged with using state employees to work on election campaigns; and New York City Board of Education members charged with extorting money from construction contractors.

Use of Records

Access Restrictions

All investigative materials in Moreland Act commission records are indefinitely restricted pursuant to Executive Law sect. 6 and 63.8 and Civil Rights Law sect. 73.8. Requests for access to such materials are referred to the Governor's Office.

Private hearing materials: Restricted; Executive Law, Section 63.8.

Investigation background reports on individuals: Restricted; Personal Privacy Protection Law, Section 96.1.c and personal privacy exemption of Freedom of Information Law, Section 87.2.b.

Tax returns: Restricted: Closed permanently; exempted from public disclosure by specific statutes, therefore deniable under Freedom of Information Law, Section 87.2.a.

Related Information

Other finding aids

Container list is available at the repository.

Related Publications

Commission reports are published in Government Ethics Reform for the 1990s: The Collected Reports of the New York State Commission on Government Integrity (Fordham University Press, 1991).

Access Terms

Personal Name(s):
Corporate Name(s):
Geographic Name(s):
Subject(s):
Genre(s):
Function(s):