Like the probe in Andrew CuomoThe nursing home scandal worsens, as does the taxpayer tab for his legal counsel. the the Wall Street newspaper Wednesday reported that Cuomo, who is under federal investigation for his administration’s apparent undercoverage of COVID deaths in nursing homes, signed a $ 2.5 million contract with law firm Morvillo Abramowitz Grand Iason & Anello PC last month – a price of one million dollars higher than the previous maximum contract amount.
The bigger bill appears to be a response to the escalating investigation and should be paid by New York taxpayers. “The way it works is that the Executive House has retained a lawyer, and that’s a state expense,” Cuomo said Wednesday, according to the Newspaper. “It’s been in every investigation, so that’s where we are now.”
As the Newspaper notes, there is nothing unusual about the state dealing with bills for elected officials. But the idea of spitting out a single red dime for Cuomo’s attorney, as the governor faces close scrutiny and calls for resignation over his handling of COVID and numerous allegations of sexual misconduct, is likely a prospect. quite unpleasant for many New Yorkers. Initially a hero of the early days of the pandemic, who morphed into “America’s governor” during daily COVID press conferences, Cuomo’s glow began to rub off earlier this year when Attorney General of new York Letitia james posted a report concluding that many more people had died from the coronavirus in nursing homes than the administration had reported. “Residents and workers in nursing homes deserve to live and work in safe environments,” James said in January. “I will continue to work hard to safeguard this fundamental right during this precarious time. “
Subsequent reports revealed that Cuomo’s main collaborators were aware of the higher death toll, but rewrote a Department of Health document to include only those who died in nursing homes, to the exclusion of those who fell ill there but died after being transferred to hospitals. While the review did not change the overall death toll in New York City, it appeared that the administration’s handling of COVID in nursing homes was much more successful than it was. federal prosecutors launched a probe in the case in February, and at the time, Cuomo’s office retained legal counsel with a contract up to $ 1.5 million.
But that cap increased in May, according to the Newspaper, as the investigation expanded to other issues, including seemingly priority COVID testing for those close to the governor, including his brother, a CNN presenter Chris Cuomo– who was mired in his own scandal, following revelations he helped counsel his older brother to overcome his accusations of sexual misconduct. The governor, who is represented by two separate lawyers in the investigation into his alleged inappropriate behavior, denied any wrongdoing. “We are in the process of finalizing these contracts subject to the approval of the controller’s office”, Rich Azzopardi, a senior Cuomo advisor, told the Newspaper. “We comply with all applicable rules and standards. “
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