U.S. Markets closed

NY governor appoints Madoff lawyer to ethics board

Michael Gormley, Associated Press

FILE--In this May 31, 2012 file photo, Janet DiFiore, chairman of the New York State Joint Commission on Public Ethics, presides over a meeting in Albany, N.Y. Gov. Andrew Cuomo is replacing DiFiore as head of the commission with former Manhattan assistant district attorney Daniel Horwitz because she is now running for re-election as Westchester County prosecutor. (AP Photo/Mike Groll, File)

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.