Andrew Cuomo

Ethan Harp/WCBS 880

DA Association Sues Cuomo Over Commission Meant To Oversee Prosecutors' Work

October 18, 2018 - 2:07 pm

NEW YORK (WCBS 880) -- The group that represents all the state prosecutors in New York is suing Gov. Andrew Cuomo over a commission meant to oversee their work.

As WCBS 880’s Mike Smeltz explained, Cuomo described the bill that established prosecutorial misconduct as a system of checks and balances on the criminal justice system when he signed it.

The commission’s main intent is to investigate allegations of misconduct by state prosecutors.

But the District Attorneys Association of the State of New York, which consists of all state prosecutors in the state, says that commission – that new system of checks and balances – is a breach of the New York state constitution.

“Courts have said again and again” that that is the case, said Jim Walden, the lawyer representing the DAs’ association.

“Any legislation that undermines the independence of the district attorneys cannot stand,” he said.

Walden said the commission is unconstitutional because it gives the state legislature power in deciding who oversees the commission, which is a violation of the separation of power clause.

A representative of the governor said they are confident the commission will withstand legal challenge.