Four North Country leaders named to Cuomo anti-corruption panel

Essex County District Attorney Kristy Sprague (at left) at the event naming Governor Cuomo's new anti-corruption panel.  (Source:  NYS Governor's Office)

Essex County District Attorney Kristy Sprague (at left) at the event naming Governor Cuomo’s new anti-corruption panel. (Source: NYS Governor’s Office)

Governor Andrew Cuomo unveiled his clean-government “Commission to Investigate Public Corruption” panel on Tuesday.

The 25-member group will include four people with ties to the North Country.

They include the board chair of the Olympic Regional Development Authority, Patrick Barrett, as well as three district attorneys from Essex, Frankly and Warren Counties.

“We must root out corruption in politics and government,” Governor Cuomo said.

“Since the Legislature has failed to act, today I am formally empanelling a Commission to Investigate Public Corruption pursuant to the Moreland Act and Section 63(8) of the Executive Law that will convene the best minds in law enforcement and public policy from across New York to address weaknesses in the State’s public corruption, election and campaign finance laws, generate transparency and accountability, and restore the public trust.”

Here are the bios provided by Governor Cuomo’s office.

J. Patrick Barrett has been Chief Executive Officer of CARPAT Investments since 1987. He has previously served as President of Telergy, Inc. and Chief Executive Officer of Avis, Inc. Earlier in his business career, he served as an Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Norton Simon, Inc. Mr. Barrett assumed the Norton Simon post after a long career at Carrier Corporation, where he served in various positions, starting as Assistant Treasurer in 1964 and rising to President of Carrier International Corporation in 1977. In 1989, he was elected Chairman of the New York Republican State Committee, a post he held until 1991. He currently serves as the Chairman of the Board at the Olympic Regional Development Authority. Mr. Barrett is a graduate of Siena College.

Derek P. Champagne became District Attorney of Franklin County in 2002. Prior to serving as District Attorney, D.A. Champagne was a United States Customs Officer, served as the Village Attorney in Malone, New York, and was an Assistant District Attorney and later the Chief A.D.A. for Franklin County. He currently serves as the Chairman of the Board of the New York State District Attorney’s Association, as Vice-Chair of New York State Sentencing Commission, as a member of the New York State Justice Taskforce and also as a member of the Chief Judge’s Advisory Committee on Criminal Procedure and Criminal Law. He previously served as the President of the New York State District Attorney’s Association. D.A. Champagne is a graduate of St. Bonaventure University and Franklin Pierce Law School at the University of New Hampshire.

Kathleen B. Hogan has served as the Warren County District Attorney since 2002 and is the first woman to hold the position. Earlier in her career, D.A. Hogan worked as an Assistant District Attorney in Brooklyn, and in private practice at Fitzgerald, Morris, Baker, and Firth, P.C. D.A. Hogan has served on Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman’s Justice Task Force, the Sentencing Commission and the Children’s Justice Task Force. She served as president of the New York State District Attorneys Association from 2009 to 2010. D.A. Hogan attended St. Lawrence University and the Washington and Lee University School of Law.

Kristy Sprague has served as the Essex County District Attorney since 2009. Prior to serving as the D.A., she was an Assistant District Attorney in Clinton County. D.A. Sprague is a graduate of SUNY Albany, Plattsburgh State, and Albany Law School.


12 Comments on “Four North Country leaders named to Cuomo anti-corruption panel”

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  1. Mike Flynn says:

    Bare Bones Analysis:

    To Paraphrase Cuomo’s Press Conference: in the words of the late, great and always to be remembered Leo Gorcey, playing original Dead End Kid ‘Spit’ in the play the ‘Dead End’ by Lillian Hellman, Spit says, “These are the best pair of chromium plated brass knuckles I’s ever owned.” (Spit smiles broadly) Well today metaphorically speaking the Governor got his chromium plated brass knuckles a ‘Mooreland Commission’ with teeth.

    Now Governor Cuomo and Attorney General Eric Schneiderman have been commissioned by necessity (there’s no other way to regain public trust) to get the stink out of the Assembly and the Senate and that is simply put, a janitorial function that demands they be tipped heavily; and that tip will consist of not money, but the acquisition of political capitol at the expense of those bought to justice. Get ready for the landscape to change, Speaker of the Assembly Sheldon Silver and Senator Dean Skelos and the IDC Coalition will leave the stage over the next year; the quality of the air as a result will be vastly improved in Albany, NY.

    Mike Flynn ‘Middle Class Mike’

  2. SES ZOO says:

    About Time…

  3. mervel says:

    Paid positions?

  4. EVH says:

    If we’re lucky enough to rid ourselves of Silver and Skelos, which I doubt will actually happen, Cuomo should really push for some sort of mechanism to insure that no one individual is ever allowed to hold indefinitely the kind of power these leadership positions provide. Whether that be a state constitutional amendment putting in place term limits for leadership positions or some sort of internal rule for both bodies of the legislature. Such a move, I think, would be supported by the citizens of the state and is necessary for the long term. Obviously this is a task easier said than done, but a necessary one I believe. Otherwise we’ll find ourselves fighting the same battle in years to come when other players arrive in the scene.

    Beyond that, I think both he and this new commission need to set their sights on the Board of Elections and reform and curtail its significant power to control Albany. As pointed out on NCPR a few weeks ago, the Board of Elections is really the “gate keeper” to the money flow in Albany. At least the legal money flow supposedly.

  5. Pete Klein says:

    Better chance of seeing Skelos go than Silver.

  6. Peter Hahn says:

    Why do I think that nothing will come of this?

  7. Mervel says:

    Of course something will come of it, these sorts of commissions are great career builders and the beginning of someone’s career in the world of State Commissions.

  8. JDM says:

    Why am I not impressed?

  9. tourpro says:

    I’d rather see an independent commission made up of people outside of New York State Govt.

  10. mervel says:

    I wonder after the ethics commission if you can get a seat on the education commission or the parole commission? Maybe one of the bridge and port authorities? Who knows the career possibilities are endless for these kind of deals.

  11. cj says:

    More effective, less costly solution… term limits.

  12. mervel says:

    Term limits combined with a law against working for or with the state after serving in an elected office.

    I would actually also look at increasing their salaries. There is a substantial group who go to elected office to simply make money to take what they can and get them and their families in positions of power and patronage. You could help stop this by paying a decent wage to them, limiting their terms (8 or 12 years?), and making it impossible for them to go get on one of our numerous patronage jobs on one of these commissions or boards or as a state employee.

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