NY governor appoints Madoff lawyer to ethics board

NY governor replaces head of troubled ethics board with lawyer who represented Bernard Madoff

Associated Press
NY governor appoints Madoff lawyer to ethics board
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FILE--In this May 31, 2012 file photo, Janet DiFiore, chairman of the New York State Joint Commission …

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) -- The chairwoman of a troubled New York state ethics board created just over a year ago is being replaced by a lawyer who represented Wall Street swindler Bernard Madoff (MAY'-dawf).

Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo (KWOH'-moh) says former Manhattan assistant district attorney Daniel Horwitz will head the Joint Commission on Public Ethics.

Cuomo says Westchester County District Attorney Janet DiFiore (dee-fee-OR'-ee) is being replaced as chairwoman because she's running for re-election as Westchester's top prosecutor.

The commission was formed after Cuomo pushed an ethics enforcement overhaul. It has been criticized for its secrecy and lack of action against powerful targets.

A Cuomo spokesman says the governor knew Horwitz represented Madoff and it wasn't a concern.

Madoff ran a multibillion-dollar Ponzi scheme. He pleaded guilty to fraud in 2009 and is serving a 150-year prison sentence.

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