Tuesday, September 27, 2022

The report says Cuomo misrepresented information on road tolls in nursing homes related to COVID-19

ALBANY, NY (AP) – A New York Assembly investigation into former Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s on-duty conduct concluded that the Democrat’s administration misrepresented how many nursing home residents died from COVID-19, according to a lawmaker who reviewed with a still secret committee report.

Assemblyman Phil Steck was among the Assembly’s judiciary committee members who were able to view a copy of the roughly 45-page report on Thursday and Friday prior to its public release, possibly as early as next week.

The report, compiled by New York law firm Davis Polk & Wardwell, covers a wide range of allegations of Cuomo’s misconduct, including allegations of sexual harassment and the involvement of his employees in writing his book on the coronavirus pandemic.

Other topics include the Cuomo administration’s manipulation of COVID-19 death data made public.

The Associated Press and other news organizations reported gaps in the state’s death toll, including the administration’s decision to exclude from its nursing home the deaths of thousands of patients who died after being transferred to hospitals.

Davis Polk’s investigators confirmed press reports that the state health department wanted to include these hospital cases among nursing home deaths.

“The investigation showed that when they were looking at these issues, there was a book deal, there is a chapter on nursing homes in the book,” said Steck, a Democrat representing part of the Albany borough. “They tried to make it the least dangerous for the governor, instead of just telling the truth.”

Cuomo’s resignation in August thwarted the law firm’s efforts to interview witnesses over the misrepresentation of nursing homes, according to Assemblyman Mary Beth Walsh, a Republican.

“I believe the timing of the governor’s resignation has really reduced the investigation and the scope for it,” said Walsh, whose district includes parts of Saratoga and Schenectady counties. “Several people who were supposed to be summoned to court refused to cooperate after the resignation of the governor.”

At the time, Cuomo administration officials admitted that their death toll in nursing homes was incomplete, but said this was only because it would take time to verify the data. Health officials insisted that this was not an attempt to improve the state’s total death toll or protect Cuomo’s reputation.

Cuomo’s spokesman Rich Azzopardi said Friday that the former governor and his team have still not been allowed to see a copy of the Assembly report or all of the evidence from investigators.

“The Assembly’s Judicial Committee has decided not to consider its findings with us, which is their prerogative, but that could again lead to a one-sided report,” Azzopardi said.

Cuomo stepped down in August to avoid a likely impeachment trial following yet another investigation that revealed he had sexually harassed 11 women. This investigation was led by two independent investigators hired by the state attorney general.

Walsh said the report provided “overwhelming evidence” that Cuomo harassed the women who spoke.

Cuomo, now facing criminal charges for groping for his assistant’s chest, denies touching anyone inappropriately.

Regarding Cuomo’s $ 5.1 million book deal, Stack said the report was “very clear” that the then governor violated conditions set by the state’s ethics committee, which said Cuomo could not use government resources or staff. for the project.

Investigators found that Cuomo ordered some government officials to work on the book, and while some said they devoted their own time to it, Steck said that “there wasn’t enough time during the day for it to be voluntary work and that they were all still have the opportunity to deal with official state affairs. “

Ethics commissioners this week withdrew their approval of Cuomo’s book deal.

Walsh, a former assistant attorney for Saratoga County, said it could “open the door” for an ethical penalty.

Nation World News Desk
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