New York Governor Eliot Spitzer today announced the appointment of Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo as a special prosecutor to investigate the murders of Arlene and Seymour Tankleff. According to a press release issued by the governor today, the appointment of Cuomo "authorizes the Attorney General to consider all of the evidence gathered so far, conduct his own investigation into the case, and prosecute the person or persons found to be responsible for this crime."
Governor Spitzer said, “This tragic case requires further investigation, and I agree with District Attorney Spota that the most prudent course is to appoint a special prosecutor. The issues that troubled the Appellate Division need to be freshly and thoroughly examined. The Attorney General’s Office has the expertise and resources to investigate this case fully and fairly.”
Attorney General Cuomo said: “My office is ready to start moving forward with this investigation right away, including gathering the information already collected by law enforcement and Mr. Tankleff’s attorneys. We will follow the evidence wherever it leads us.”
Today's developments follow the announcement by the New York State Investigation Commission (SIC) that it is investigating Suffolk County law enforcement's handling of the Tankleff case, from its beginnings in 1988 up to the present. In 1989, the SIC issued a scathing report on Suffolk County law enforcement, which, among other findings, named current DA Thomas Spota and found that Detective James McCready, who would go on to take Marty's "confession," had perjured himself in a previous murder trial.
Update: On Sunday, Judge Alfred Lerner, chair of the SIC, told Newsday "the probe into 'systemic problems' would continue.
Read our blog summarizing the SIC's investigation of Suffolk County law enforcement in the 1980s.