Judge Tosses Challenge Of Rules Weakening Elections Watchdog

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ALBANY — A judge has dismissed an election official’s lawsuit against new rules weakening the powers of an independent elections law watchdog.

The Albany Times-Union reports State Supreme Court Justice Jonathan Nichols’ ruling last month rejected current counsel Risa Sugarman’s request for a court order invalidating rules that she said infringed on her office’s ability to probe ethical violations.

Nichols ruled that the Board of Elections’ commissioners have broad authority to issue such regulations, which include allowing anyone under investigation to seek to quash subpoenas.

Commissioners voted in 2018 to require the state’s independent enforcement counsel to justify in writing each subpoena they want to issue when investigating alleged campaign finance and election law cases.

Board members said the change gives them greater oversight over important investigations.


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