A new Public Integrity Unit in the attorney general's office has come under fire from at least one county prosecutor who says the office is overstepping its legal authority.
The new unit has logged more than 100 reports of improper actions by state and local officials.
Attorney General Eliot Spitzer said the unit has resulted in 10 investigations into complaints of wrongdoing, including improper fiscal practices at the Capital District Regional Off Track Betting Corp. and into allegations of payroll double-dipping in the Orange County Sheriff's Department.
The units' responsibilities include investigations of state and local governments, but not when other agencies already have opened probes into alleged misconduct, Spitzer said.
Westchester County District Attorney Jeanine Pirro, the head of the District Attorneys Association, said that Spitzer is overstepping his authority by setting up a statewide anti-corruption unit.