The Cuomo administration claimed last year there were no records of its contacts with an anti-corruption panel involving the Real Estate Board of New York — just three months after a top gubernatorial aide ordered the panel not to issue subpoenas to the influential real-estate group.
The administration’s misleading account was made in writing to America Rising, a conservative PAC that had filed a Freedom of Information Law request in October for “any and all” communications between Cuomo staffers and the Moreland Commission panel about REBNY.
Just two months later, the answer came back that America Rising was wasting its time.
“Please be advised that the New York State Executive Chamber has conducted a diligent search but does not possess records responsive to your request,” Cuomo’s records officer, George Stiefel III, wrote in a response dated Nov. 19.
Actually, there were extensive contacts between the commission and Cuomo aide Larry Schwartz in August, according to an article in The New York Times last week.
Members of REBNY, who have donated $4 million to Gov. Cuomo since 2010, eventually turned over documents sought by the panel voluntarily.
Tim Miller, executive director of America Rising, said he was duped.
“This official correspondence from the governor’s office was a lie, either explicitly or by means of trying to find a clever way out of having to reveal damaging documents,” he told The Post.