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NY state ethics watchdog won’t fine rape survivor after all: official

The embattled Joint Commission on Public Ethics dropped its case against rape survivor Kat Sullivan on Wednesday, ending its threat to hit the child victims’ advocate with thousands in fines.

JCOPE pursued Sullivan for months on allegations she violated lobbying thresholds by spending thousands on billboards to back the Child Victims Act, which allows abuse survivors to more easily sue for damages.

“Despite the fact that you and your LLC likely expended more than $5,000 on media messages that constitute lobbying, the Commission has determined not to take any additional action,” the agency’s top lawyer, Monica Stamm, wrote in a letter to Sullivan.

However, Stamm claimed that JCOPE still believes the 39-year-old Sullivan must register as a lobbyist and could face a minimum penalty of $25,000 if she undertakes “any future activity covered by the Lobbying Act.”

The fight centers around the $5,000 that Sullivan’s self-funded campaign spent to support the victims legislation, which finally passed after a years-long fight in 2018.

Sullivan purchased several billboards and flew a plane with a banner over the state Capitol in Albany in 2018, backing the CVA.

Authorities claimed the spending exceeded the $5,000 threshold that requires registration as a lobbyist.

Sullivan retorted that she was exercising her right to free speech and not lobbying because she was advocating for fellow abuse victims.

When reached by phone, Sullivan said she’s “not jogging victory laps” and “this is far from over.”

“I got bit by a dog, Cuomo’s dog, and he’s like yeah it’s fine and they’re telling me in this letter it’s going to keep doing it,” she told The Post.

She added that she is considering filing a federal lawsuit against JCOPE that would argue the agency violated her constitutional rights.

“As we previously said, we believed there were better things for them to spend their time,” said top Cuomo adviser Rich Azzopardi. “We commend Ms. Sullivan for her work to get the Child Victim’s Act passed.”

Stamm’s letter marks the end of another embarrassing chapter for JCOPE, which is under siege following allegations that Gov. Andrew Cuomo was tipped to its confidential deliberations about a potential probe into Joe Percoco — his one-time top aide, who was convicted on corruption charges.

That scandal erupted in November after officials disclosed the state’s Inspector General dismissed the allegations without ever interviewing key players, including Cuomo and Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie.

The Post revealed Tuesday that the head of the IG’s investigation, Spencer Freedman, has extensive ties to Cuomo and his top aides — who have appointed him to key positions in state government, including his current post.

The Governor’s Office has denied there is any current relationship between Cuomo and Freedman.

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