THE man supposedly leading a key state probe of Gov. Spitzer and the Dirty Tricks Scandal has abruptly taken a 21/2-week vacation in South America - after secretly receiving a $15,000 pay raise, The Post has learned.Massive conflict of interest anyone?
Recently hired Public Integrity Commission Executive Director Herbert Teitelbaum's extended vacation in Argentina has left stunned commission employees questioning his commitment to a probe aimed at determining if Spitzer and his aides broke the law by using the State Police in an effort to politically damage Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno (R-Rensselaer.)
"People can't believe Teitelbaum just took off in the middle of the investigation," said a source close to the commission.
"This is the biggest scandal in a generation, and he leaves in the middle of the investigation, before the governor has undergone questioning?"
Teitelbaum, a longtime Manhattan lawyer with close ties to Spitzer's aides, was named in mid-July by another Spitzer appointee, commission Chairman John Feerick, as the $140,000-a-year head of the Ethics Commission.
He was then appointed to head the Public Integrity Commission in October, after the Ethics and Lobbying commissions merged into the new entity, with Feerick again as chair.
It's unclear if Teitelbaum has earned enough vacation and personal leave days to have 2½ weeks' paid time off.
Commission spokesman Walter Ayres contended that Teitelbaum was hired with the understanding that he would take a long vacation in December and said he would take unpaid leave, if necessary.
Ayres also claimed Teitelbaum was able to do his job from Argentina since "he's in contact almost on a daily basis."
But a second commission source insisted, "The whole place is adrift."
Not only is there a conflict of interest, there's also a curious lack of interest in this story outside of the New York Post, other than a passing mention here.
We're certainly not hinting there's anything nefarious about Teitelbaum taking a vacation supposedly planned long in advance, but this does add to the ever-growing suspicion of a cover-up in this case and that nothing will ever come of the investigation, especially since Spitzer and his aides have been stonewalling from day one.
Instapundit links. Thanks!