Governor Kathy Hochul today announced two of the Executive Chamber’s three nominees to the Commission on Ethics in Lobbying and Government. In accordance with the Independent Review Committee’s procedures adopted in June, the public will have seven business days to comment on the nominees and then be presented to the Independent Review Committee of New York’s law school deans for review and approval or denial to serve on the Commission.
“The Commission on Ethics in Lobbying and Government will be an independent, fair-minded ethics agency that provides greater transparency and accountability for New Yorkers and will help restore trust in government,” Governor Hochul said. “I am proud to nominate these two well-respected, independent legal experts to the Commission for consideration by the Independent Review Committee, and I am committed to providing any support necessary to the Commission and the Committee to help ensure they are successful in carrying out their mission.”
Governor Hochul first proposed replacing the Joint Committee on Public Ethics with a new independent ethics agency as part of her agenda. Legislation creating the Commission on Ethics in Lobbying and Government passed both houses of the legislature and was by Governor Hochul on April 9, 2022. The Independent Review Committee, made up of the deans of New York’s law schools, released their for evaluating nominee qualifications for the Commission on June 15, 2022.
Michael A. Cardozo has been nominated to serve on the Commission on Ethics in Lobbying and Government. Mr. Cardozo is a former New York City Corporation Counsel and currently is Litigation Partner at Proskauer. As New York City’s longest-tenured Corporation Counsel, Mr. Cardozo led the City’s 700-lawyer law department from 2002 through 2013, serving as legal counsel to the Mayor, the City and all its agencies. He has leadership roles on the boards of many civic organizations including Citizens Union, the Fund for Modern Courts and the Advisory Board of Legal Outreach; he was also appointed by the New York State Chief Judge to chair the New York State Commission on Legislative, Judicial and Executive Compensation.
Frederick A. Davie has been nominated to serve on the Commission on Ethics in Lobbying and Government. Mr. Davie currently serves Senior Strategic Advisor to the President at Union Theological Seminary and holds several external leadership roles related to public policy and social issues, including with the Racial Justice/Charter Reform Commission of the City of New York, the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom and the NYC Civilian Complaint Review Board. Previously, Mr. Davie served in the nonprofit sector at Public/Private Ventures and the Ford Foundation. He also has experience in municipal government as Deputy Borough President of Manhattan, Chief of Staff to the Deputy Mayor for Community and Public Affairs, and Chief of Staff to the President of the NYC Board of Education.
Public comment on these nominations can be submitted online: https://governor.ny.gov/
The 11-member Commission on Ethics in Lobbying and Government will include nominees from the Governor, Senate, Assembly, Comptroller, and Attorney General, all of whom are reviewed by law school deans for approval or denial. The Commission will work differently and more transparently with special voting requirements eliminated, the body and votes subject to the Open Meetings Law and FOIL, any breach of confidentiality referable to the Attorney General, and improved training of staff and notice to victims who have suffered harm by their perpetrators. The Commission is also required to hold an annual meeting to report on its activities and hear feedback from the public and any findings must be reported in 20 days, down from the previous 45 days.