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N.Y. Attorney General Andrew Cuomo

Troopergate Affair Thickens With Suicide of Former NYS Official

May 21, 2008 12:21 PM
by Josh Katz
New York’s “Troopergate” scandal took another turn last week when a former New York State Police official was found dead in his home.

30-Second Summary

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Former New York State Police inspector Gary A. Berwick committed suicide on May 15. In an extensive suicide note, Berwick expressed concern over the inquiries into his old police units.

Just after taking office from Eliot Spitzer in March, Governor David Paterson replaced acting State Police Superintendent Preston L. Felton, and called for an inquiry into the State Police. As a result, N.Y. Attorney General Andrew Cuomo launched an investigation into the possibility of a “rogue” unit of state troopers last month. The investigation has targeted the executive services detail of the State Police, responsible for looking after the governor.

Berwick headed the detail from 2005 to 2007, serving Gov. George Pataki and Gov. Eliot Spitzer.

The Cuomo investigation partly targets Daniel Wiese, who was at the helm of the executive services detail before Berwick. Wiese has been suspended from his inspector general position at the New York Power Authority, “where investigators for Mr. Cuomo discovered efforts to scrub e-mail messages from Mr. Wiese’s office computer and BlackBerry,” according to The New York Times.

The original Troopergate affair came to public attention in the summer of 2007, when Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno accused Gov. Eliot Spitzer of using state troopers to spy on him.

But the current investigation might show that the seeds of Troopergate date much earlier. “Old Albany hands say such accusations also dogged state police in the Democratic administrations of Mario Cuomo, Hugh Carey and even Franklin Roosevelt,” the Associated Press writes.

Headline Links: Gary A. Berwick commits suicide

Background: Troopergate, Spitzer’s resignation, and the current investigations

Troopergate
Spitzer resigns
Governor police unit affair

Key Players: Berwick, Wiese, and Cuomo

Gary A. Berwick
Daniel Wiese
Andrew Cuomo

Opinion & Analysis: Albany politics needs to be more open

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