Grandeau: Integrity Commission Is a ‘Laughingstock’

ALBANY—The former executive director of the state's now-defunct Lobbying Commission, who was forced out when it was recast as the Commission on Public Integrity, said David Paterson was right to try and blow it up and that current executive director Herb Teitelbaum should resign.

"It has suffered from going from a well-regarded agency to what has become, in my opinion, a laughing-stock," said David Grandeau, who was forced out in 2007 when Eliot Spitzer organized the Integrity Commission. He said that the commissioners—who are, without dispute, well-regarded attorneys—"owe it to this governor" to resign their posts. Zachary Carter, an attorney representing them, told me yesterday they do not plan to do so.

"They don't have the time, energy, or desire that they need to put in to do the job correctly," Grandeau said to Fred Dicker on his morning radio show. "When they were faced with having to actually take a hard look at Teitelbaum and what he did, I think they didn't look hard."

Grandeau also said it was inappropriate for Teitelbaum to reach out to the law firm of Bryn Cave, which he described as a "lobbying firm," for representation. (Teitelbaum formerly worked at that firm.)

"It would be like me using Jim Featherstonhaugh for a house closing. It just would never work," Grandeau said. "You know what, Herb? They can be your lawyers. You just can't be the executive director anymore."

Grandeau, of course, has an ax to grind with his replacement. But he was widely regarded in Albany as aggressive, launching investigations during his tenure at the lobbying commission that involved Republicans and Democrats alike.

Grandeau: Integrity Commission Is a ‘Laughingstock’