NY governor appoints Madoff lawyer to ethics board

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — The chairwoman of a troubled New York state ethics board created just over a year ago is being replaced by a lawyer who represented Wall Street swindler Bernard Madoff (MAY’-dawf).

Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo (KWOH’-moh) says former Manhattan assistant district attorney Daniel Horwitz will head the Joint Commission on Public Ethics.

Cuomo says Westchester County District Attorney Janet DiFiore (dee-fee-OR’-ee) is being replaced as chairwoman because she’s running for re-election as Westchester’s top prosecutor.

The commission was formed after Cuomo pushed an ethics enforcement overhaul. It has been criticized for its secrecy and lack of action against powerful targets.

A Cuomo spokesman says the governor knew Horwitz represented Madoff and it wasn’t a concern.

Madoff ran a multibillion-dollar Ponzi scheme. He pleaded guilty to fraud in 2009 and is serving a 150-year prison sentence.

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