“Like other committees in the Legislature, the ethics panels have chairmen and several members each. Unlike the others, they have not considered a single bill on the subject of ethics — or anything else — that anyone can remember.

“It is a body bent on self-protection,” said Susan Lerner, executive director of Common Cause New York, a government watchdog group, referring to the Legislature. “And so you have two different committees in two different houses bent on self-protection.”