Will Schumer Stand Up?

Only He Can Prevent a Hack Bush-Pataki Appointment

Brian Donovan, the head of the Newsday team, says Mauskopf never asked him which SUNY official gave him the fabricated document, nor did she seek the document itself, which investigators would need to advance any serious criminal inquiry. Key sources identified in the Newsday stories—from the forensic experts to an accountant—have yet to be contacted by the IG.

Copeland was contacted, however. He told the Voice: "I met with the IG and told them everything they wanted to know. I think they dropped it." Copeland said he was questioned under oath by Mauskopf investigators last summer, and received a phone call from them soon thereafter. "They were running down details. I got the sense they were wrapping it up. It was minutiae." Copeland said he also concluded the probe was over "because I haven't heard from them in so long." While not disputing any of the findings about the apparent rigging of the SUNY process or manufacturing of the document, Copeland described himself as "a political pawn" in this hunt.

So did Pataki's appointees at the SUNY fund, who wrote a hot-air response to McCall's findings, almost boasting that the comptroller "has no reason to assume that the IG will issue findings" about "the validity of the contract," or that it is "even part of their inquiry." The fund and Copeland attribute the audit to McCall's gubernatorial candidacy, though the comptroller has been anything but an aggressive overseer of the Pataki regime. McCall told the Voice that it's "outrageous that the governor would recommend Mauskopf to be U.S. attorney," adding that "she's failed to follow up" on the SUNY audit and that "she's not the type of person who should be in that position."

Maybe Chuck Schumer, like Pataki and Mauskopf, will dismiss McCall as politically motivated. Maybe Schumer would prefer to listen to Bob Morgenthau, the 82-year-old patriarch of New York law enforcement who's championing Mauskopf as one more notch on his mentoring belt. Maybe Schumer's willing to install precisely the same person that the man he defeated in 1998, Al D'Amato, would have put in this sensitive spot. Maybe Schumer, who should know better as a former target of an Eastern District grand jury himself, thinks some other deal with Bush or Pataki is more important than whether a hack gets an arsenal of federal prosecutorial power. This office has meant so much in the life of our city and state. It is crying out for a senator to have the courage to defend it.

Research assistance: Martine Guerrier, Lauren Johnston, Peter G.H. Madsen, Jess Wisloski

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