Shades of Troopergate: Winner Sees Foot-Dragging on the Kennedy-Leak Investigation

ALBANY—State Senator George Winner, who led an investigation in his own chamber into the “Troopergate” affair, said the members of the Commission on Public Integrity are “dragging their feet” in dealing with a complaint concerning leaks about Caroline Kennedy from David Paterson’s office.

“The fact that they’re dragging their feet is once again typical response when dealing with the executive branch,” Winner said. He believes that Herb Teitelbaum, COPI’s executive director, was in “cahoots” with the Spitzer administration. While some of his top aides were implicated in a COPI report on the matter, Spitzer was not.

The New York Times reported this morning that the matter was first brought before the commission two months ago.

“They certainly have not demonstrated, through the Troopergate investigation, in my estimation, that they conduct themselves in a way that demonstrates they are acting in a way independent of influence from the governor’s office,” Winner said.

Walter Ayres, a spokesman for the commission, confirmed the complaint about Paterson, but declined further specific comment. He said that generally, “there is no standard time” it takes to evaluate a complaint.

“It depends on the matter. We review a case before we begin an investigation. Among the things we look at is whether we have jurisdiction, whether the alleged violation is in fact a violation of the law, what our jurisdiction is, and what the best way is to proceed,” he said.