New Evidence in Spitzer Aides Probe

When New York’s attorney general recently concluded that aides to the state’s new reform-platform governor broke no laws in pursuing what some news reports have characterized as a “choppergate” political dirty tricks campaign, he may not have had all the relevant evidence.

Aides to Gov. Eliot Spitzer had separate BlackBerries that they used for personal messages—and, occasionally, political communications. But messages sent on their personal BlackBerries were not among the material turned over to Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, according to the New York Times. That is because personal e-mails weren’t requested, reports Newsday.

As discussed in an earlier post, Spitzer aides are accused of having mounted a campaign intended to damage the reputation of Joseph Bruno, the Republican state senate majority leader. Specifically, they are said to have misused the state police in an attempt to show that Bruno improperly used state-funded helicopters for trips. An investigation by Cuomo, however, cleared Bruno and implicated Spitzer aides in political—but not criminal—wrongdoing. Meanwhile, there are continuing calls for further disclosure and further investigation of the new governor’s administration, and a possible criminal investigation is being considered, as detailed in another post.

Spitzer, a Democrat who formerly served as New York’s attorney general and was known as an aggressive prosecutor, won election to the governor’s job in a landslide last year on a platform calling for governmental reform. He took office in January.

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