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Tagliafierro named new JCOPE director

By Tom Precious

After hours of a closed-door executive session, the state’s Joint Commission on Public Ethics today tapped Letizia Tagliafierro, a longtime loyalist to Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, as its new executive director.

Tagliafierro, who worked for Cuomo in his Buffalo regional office when he was state attorney general, has been acting director of the agency that has jurisdiction over the lobbying industry and can investigate state workers and lawmakers for ethics violations.

The commission has been criticized for having its top staff dominated by Cuomo insiders. At Tuesday's meeting, commission member Ellen Yaroshefsky, a law professor at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, tried to get the agency to hire a search firm to find a new executive director. The board quickly ended the public session and went into executive session.

After the meeting, Yaroshefsky told Gannett's Albany bureau that she was quitting the commission. Yaroshefsky is an appointee of Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, whose office could not immediately confirm that she quit.

Tagliafierro worked for eight years as an assistant district attorney in Erie County. She went to work with Cuomo in 2008 and then joined his gubernatorial administration in 2011.

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Albany | Andrew Cuomo
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About Politics Now

Robert J. McCarthy

Robert J. McCarthy

A native of Schenectady, Robert J. McCarthy came to The Buffalo News in 1982 following a six-year stint at the Olean Times Herald. He is a graduate of St. Bonaventure University, and has been covering local, state and national politics since 1992.

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Tom Precious

Tom Precious

Tom Precious joined The Buffalo News in 1997 as bureau chief at the state Capitol, where he covers everything from statewide politics and state government fiscal affairs to health care, environmental and municipal government matters. Prior to The News, he worked for news outlets in Albany and Washington, DC.

[email protected]


Jill Terreri

Jill Terreri

Jill Terreri is an Amherst native and has covered politics and government in upstate New York since 2003. She joined The Buffalo News in 2012 and covers City Hall.

@jillterreri | [email protected]


Jerry Zremski

Jerry Zremski

Jerry Zremski, The Buffalo News Washington bureau chief, has reported from the nation's capital since 1989 after joining The News as a business reporter in 1984. A graduate of Syracuse University, Zremski is a former Nieman fellow in journalism at Harvard University. In 2007, he served as president of the National Press Club.

@JerryZremski | [email protected]

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