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Friday, October 31, 2014
Blakeman demands Rice defend time at Moreland
(Page 2 of 4)
Brian Racow/Herald
Bruce Blakeman, a former presiding officer of the Nassau County Legislature and a Republican candidate for Congress, held a press conference on July 31 in Mineola, where he called for his Democratic opponent, District Attorney Kathleen Rice, to explain her role at the Moreland Commission, a state anti-corruption panel she co-chaired.

“The fact that Bruce Blakeman is asking Kathleen Rice to deeply compromise an ongoing federal investigation that she is assisting shows you just how deep into the gutter Blakeman’s career as a political insider has fallen,” Phillips said in a statement. “This is further proof that the more Bruce Blakeman opens his mouth, the better Kathleen Rice’s chances are of winning.”

Phillips declined to elaborate on the assistance he said Rice is giving Bharara’s office. The campaign spokesman cited the ongoing federal investigation in declining to answer six of 10 questions the Herald posed to him. Phillips did refute Blakeman’s claim that Rice released one of her Moreland emails to the Times — an assertion Blakeman made several times at his press conference, and on which he based his call for Rice to release all of her Moreland emails.

“Like most things Bruce Blakeman says, he’s 100 percent wrong,” Phillips said.

The Times reported that it conducted a three-month examination that “included a review of hundreds of emails, subpoenas and internal documents and interviews with more than three dozen commission members, employees, legislative staff members and other officials.” Rice, one of three co-chairs of the commission, along with Fitzpatrick, the Syracuse-area district attorney, and Milton Williams, a Manhattan attorney, is mentioned several times in the Times story, but the article did not accuse her of wrongdoing. The Times reported that when Moreland lead investigator Danya Perry brought concerns about resistance from Moreland Executive Director Regina Calcaterra to Rice, she sent an email to her co-chairs.

“Danya can’t be prevented from doing the most basic and noncontroversial aspects of her job,” Rice wrote, according to the Times. “Thoughts??” The Times did not say how it obtained the email.

Rice suggested at some point that Calcaterra — who “routinely conveyed the wishes of the governor’s office” — be replaced, though this never happened, the Times wrote. It also reported that all three co-chairs met with Cuomo last Sept. 17 to protest his administration’s interference at the commission.

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