Former state inspector Laetitia Tagliafiero dies

ALBANNY — Former State Inspector General Leticia Tagliafiero, who held multiple ethics and investigative roles under former Governor Andrew Cuomo’s administration, died Tuesday after a long battle with cancer.

Her death was confirmed by Cuomo press secretary Richard Azopardi.

Tagliafiero, 50, began his public sector career serving four years as a legislative assistant to Queens Republican Malta Senator Serfin Malta and eight years as an Assistant District Attorney in Erie County.

In 2007, the Albany Law School graduate was appointed special prosecutor to the state’s Criminal Justice Commissioner and later joined the staff of then-Attorney General Cuomo’s Buffalo office. After Cuomo’s election as governor, Tagliafiero was appointed director of the intergovernmental secretary.

She then moved to the newly created State Joint Public Ethics Commission, initially as Chief Investigator, before being promoted to the top staff post of Executive Director in 2013. For most of its ten-year run that ended last summer, JCOPE has faced criticism for being too Cuomo-influenced at both the staff and commissioner level.

Tagliafiero left JCOPE in 2015 to head the Criminal Investigations Division as deputy commissioner of the State Department of Taxation and Treasury before returning to the executive branch the following year as Cuomo’s special counsel for public safety.

In January 2019, just weeks after Mr. Cuomo failed to win a third term, Mr. Tagliafiero replaced Katherine Leahy-Scott as State Inspector General, and was appointed as state inspector general. He directed a bureau investigating allegations of wrongdoing by situation.

Tagliafiero was forced to step down from an investigation into a report on illegal leaks of classified information from a JCOPE executive meeting that Cuomo allegedly brought up during a conversation with State Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie. was only a few weeks into office. The Times-Union reported in November 2019 that the Office of the Inspector General made no attempt to question Mr. Cuomo or Mr. Heasty in the investigation, which ended with a brief letter to JCOPE saying the leak had not been substantiated.

Tagliafiero’s September 2021 resignation comes less than a month after Cuomo’s resignation, with a majority of JCOPE commissioners telling Attorney General Letitia James of the Office of the Inspector General’s conduct in the breach investigation. It came two weeks after passing a resolution requesting an investigation.

In a statement, Cuomo described Tagliafiello as “a unique and extraordinary combination. She was intelligent, dedicated, caring, and dedicated her talents to public service… (her) great work.” has improved the lives of thousands of New Yorkers, and she said. It was all done with grace and grace, lighting up every room she entered. ”

Details of the memorial service were not immediately available on Wednesday.

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