Assemblyman Kieran Michael Lalor
For Immediate Release June 5, 2013
Contact: Chris Covucci – (845) 309-2654 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Albany, NY – (6/5/13) – After today’s announcement that the Vito Lopez JCOPE report was scrubbed to protect Speaker Sheldon Silver, Assemblyman Kieran Michael Lalor (R,C,I – Fishkill), joined by 11 Assembly colleagues, has formally requested an investigation by the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of New York. Today Lalor released the request letter to the U.S. Attorney online.
“It’s becoming clear that there was more to the Vito Lopez cover-up than the JCOPE report revealed,” said Lalor. “Silver’s staff willfully mislabeled the Lopez settlement checks. We’re officially asking the U.S. Attorney to investigate the possibility of mail or wire fraud during the cover-up and any other possible crimes. If the Assembly accounting records were intentionally mislabeled as part of the cover-up we need a criminal investigation. The staffer who filed a false report was rewarded with a large raise. There was a pattern of deception from the speaker’s office. The JCOPE report was scrubbed to protect Silver. A completely independent authority needs to review the case because Silver can’t be trusted to police himself.”
Assemblyman Lalor’s letter to U.S. Attorney Richard Hartunian can be found online here. The Joint Commission on Public Ethics (JCOPE) Vito Lopez report revealed possible fraud by Silver’s office in the mislabeling of the settlement payment. The settlement check was deceptively labeled as “Legal-Attorney” expenses in the Assembly’s accounting. Silver’s staff could have clearly labeled the payment as part of a settlement agreement, but instead chose to hide the settlement behind a false statement. Silver’s Director of Finance, who filed the false voucher with the State Comptroller later received a salary increase of over $2,500.
Assemblyman Lalor was joined by Assemblymembers Butler, Friend, Palmesano, McLaughlin, Katz, Walter, Goodell, Tediso, Nojay, Tenney, and DiPietro in signing the letter to the U.S. Attorney.
Lalor continued, “Unfortunately, the unending deception from the speaker’s office requires a criminal investigation. Silver led us to believe that the JCOPE report was exhaustive, but it wasn’t. Details were left out to cover for Silver. It seems that Silver’s cover-up is unending. New Yorkers deserve a complete investigation from the U.S. Attorney’s office.”
The letter to the U.S. Attorney is online at Scribd.
Assemblyman Kieran Michael Lalor, a former teacher at Our Lady of Lourdes in Poughkeepsie, is a Marine Corps veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom and founder of the Dutchess County based consulting firm KML Strategies, LLC. Lalor is the founder of Afghanistan & Iraq Veterans for Congress and a frequent guest on the Fox News Channel. He is a graduate of John Jay High School, Providence College and Pace Law School and lives in Fishkill with his wife Mary Jo and their four young children Katie, Riley, Mikey and Kieran Jr..