Silver, Skelos and Klein join law firms' legal fight against Moreland
ALBANY—As the Capitol waits to see what the anti-corruption Moreland Commission turns up in its preliminary report, state legislators have escalated their involvement in a legal challenge to the commission's subpoenas, court filings show.
Lawyers for State Senate co-presidents Jeff Klein and Dean Skelos along with Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver have pushed to be “intervenor” plaintiffs, effectively joining a half-dozen private law firms that employ lawmakers as those firms challenge the commission's subpoenas for client lists and invoices.
“Unfortunately, there have been a number of public corruption cases over the past several years. This petition does not intend to shield any wrongdoers—in fact, there are no allegations of wrongful conduct behind any of the Subpoenas,” attorneys Michael Garcia, Marc Kasowitz and Jay Musoff wrote in papers filed on Wednesday. “Rather, this petition seeks to protect the Legislature by preserving its vital role as a co-equal branch of the New York State government.”
The filing in Manhattan Supreme Court revealed several more law firms that received, and are challenging, subpoenas: Jordan & Kelly, which employs outgoing Republican Assemblyman Tony Jordan; GOP Sen. Kemp Hannon's firm, Farrell Fritz PC; Sahn Ward Coschignano & Baker, which employs Assemblyman Tom McKevitt. The legislative leaders also supported challenges by Hiscock & Barclay and Harris Beach, as well as the firms that employ Silver and Skelos.