(c) 2013, Bloomberg News.
(c) 2013, Bloomberg News.
NEW YORK — The New York State Senate Republican Campaign Committee Wednesday ended its lawsuit seeking to quash subpoenas issued by an anti-corruption commission formed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo after the panel narrowed its request.
The committee sued the panel in state Supreme Court in Manhattan last month seeking to quash a subpoena issued by the commission, which was formed by the Democratic governor in July after he failed to strike a deal with lawmakers on an anti- corruption legislation package.
The committee decided to end the suit after the commission agreed to narrow the scope of the subpoena to remove a request for all internal party communications and deliberations during the 2012 election, former Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff, representing the committee, said in an email.
"In light of the commission's offer to withdraw most of its demands, the SRCC has agreed to produce a limited set of documents reflecting financial records and certain external communications associated only with the committee's housekeeping account," Chertoff said. "The committee will now withdraw its petition to quash the subpoena, while reserving its right to refile should circumstances warrant."
Cuomo, a 55-year-old Democrat, said the committee's decision to end the suit shows that other fights over similar subpoenas by lawmakers should also come to an end.
The state legislature, which has refused to turn over information about the clients and pay of lawmakers who earn more than $20,000 a year in nongovernment jobs, sued the panel last week seeking to quash the subpoenas, saying they are intended only to harass lawmakers. About a dozen law firms that employ lawmakers also have sought to suppress the subpoenas.
"It sent the wrong signal to the people of this state who are saying we want a government we can trust," Cuomo said Wednesday on The Capitol Pressroom, a public radio show broadcast from Albany. "When you fight subpoenas it sounds like you have something to hide."
Neither Mike Whyland, a spokesman for Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, a Manhattan Democrat, nor Scott Reif, a spokesman for Dean Skelos, the Long Island Republican who co- leads the Senate, immediately responded to a request seeking comment on the committee's decision to drop its lawsuit.
"Cooperation and reason prevailed and we look forward to continuing our work with the SRCC on this matter," the commission's co-chairmen, Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice, Onondaga County District Attorney William Fitzpatrick and lawyer Milton Williams Jr., said in a statement.
The friction between the governor and the legislature is a break in the relationship that helped Cuomo pass the first three consecutive on-time budgets since 1984, a law legalizing same- sex marriage, and a mix of tax increases for the state's wealthiest residents and cuts for the middle class.
When Cuomo couldn't strike a deal on the anti-corruption legislation, he created the 25-member commission, which is allowed under the Moreland Act of 1907. The law gives a New York governor broad investigative authority.
Klopott reported from Albany.