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U.S. Attorney: 'Insufficent Evidence To Prove A Federal Crime' After Closing Of Moreland Commission

ALBANY, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP) -- U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara's office has concluded there's not enough evidence to prove a federal crime after Gov. Andrew Cuomo shut down an anti-corruption committee.

Bharara looked into whether the Cuomo administration put pressure on commission members to make public statements defending the governor after the closing of the Moreland Commission. Bharara cautioned that such activities, if true, could constitute obstruction of justice or witness tampering.

Cuomo appointed the commission consisting mostly of prosecutors in 2013 to investigate public corruption by state officials for two years, but closed it in 2014 following agreement from state legislators to enact some ethics measures.

"After a thorough investigation of interference with the operation of the Moreland Commission and its premature closing, this Office has concluded that, absent any additional proof that may develop, there is insufficient evidence to prove a federal crime," Bharara said in a statement Monday. "We continue to have active investigations related to substantive inquiries that were being conducted by the Moreland Commission at the time of its closure."

"We were always confident there was no illegality here, and we appreciate the U.S. Attorney clarifying this for the public record," said counsel for Gov. Cuomo's office Elkan Abramowitz.

Cuomo had insisted that his administration did not meddle with the anti-corruption commission.

(TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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