Governor Andrew Cuomo is developing something of a reputation. A week after his spokesman sneered that the New York Times had “sunk to a new low” over a story about the ambitious politician’s secrecy and down-low BBM-ing, the paper is back with a report to share “the latest example of the Cuomo administration’s efforts to manage information.” According to the Times, Cuomo sent his people to the state archives to remove documents from his time as attorney general after some nosy journalists started snooping around files relating to Troopergate, Cuomo’s investigation of Eliot Spitzer’s political surveillance: “The reporters noticed that, after they photocopied documents in the files, the documents disappeared.” Dun dun dun.
The aides have declared off limits all of Mr. Cuomo’s files related to a 2007 inquiry into the use of the State Police for political purposes, which was one of the most prominent public corruption investigations he oversaw as attorney general. And, in a change of practice, the administration is also pre-emptively reviewing all documents sent by the governor to the archives and removing anything it deems sensitive from public view.
The Cuomo team claims the documents never should have been public in the first place.
As if the battle between the Cuomo administration and newspapers weren’t enough, there’s also some Spitzer-related sniping. The ex-governor says he’s “deeply troubled” by the hidden documents, while Cuomo’s office shot back, “This is just Eliot and his minions still trying to vindicate Eliot.” They added, “The governor’s office does not respond to Eliot Spitzer, but any first-year lawyer knows it is important to protect confidential informants and to preserve the attorney-client privilege.”
Play nice, guys! It’s a long way to 2016.