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New York, N.Y. (March 29, 2022) – Citizens Union releases the following statement from Executive Director Betsy Gotbaum in response to news that the Governor and Legislature have reached a deal to replace JCOPE with a new commission charged with enforcing ethics and lobbying laws:

“New York needs a sweeping overhaul of our ethics system to restore the public’s faith in government. Unfortunately, the ethics commission that would be created under this agreement between the Governor and Legislature fails to make any meaningful reform. “

“The state’s current ethics watchdog, JCOPE, lacks independence from the very people it is charged with overseeing. Under this plan, JCOPE would be replaced with another toothless ethics commission, with elected officials maintaining complete control over the appointees. This is no reform at all.”

About Citizens Union
For 125 years, Citizens Union has been a force for transparency, accountability and ethics in New York’s City and State governments. A nonpartisan organization, some of our current initiatives include a new agenda for police accountability, monitoring the City Council’s redistricting process and increasing civic engagement. Learn more at

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