Reports: FBI, US attorney probing Cuomo administration's handling of nursing homes during pandemic

It follows a top Cuomo aide admitting to legislative leaders that the administration was not giving them accurate numbers about COVID-related nursing home deaths.

News 12 Staff

Feb 18, 2021, 11:24 PM

Updated 1,251 days ago


Multiple published reports say that federal prosecutors and the FBI are looking into the Cuomo administration's handling of nursing homes during the pandemic.
The inquiry was first reported by the Albany Times Union.
The reported investigation follows an admission by Melissa DeRosa, a top aide to Gov. Andrew Cuomo, that the administration was not giving accurate numbers to legislative leaders about COVID-related nursing home deaths. 
Cuomo says it was a mistake, but many lawmakers feel they were lied to. Many Democrats are now joining Republicans in calling for the broad emergency powers Cuomo was granted during the pandemic to be rescinded.
State Sen. John Brooks, of Seaford, says he's not jumping on the anti-Cuomo bandwagon.
“I don't think we have all the answers yet as to why certain information didn't come out. I think that has to be addressed. But you don't make judgment until that question is addressed,” he told News 12.
Democratic Assemblyman Ron Kim, of Queens, says he was berated and threatened by Cuomo in a phone call after criticizing the governor's handling of nursing homes.
A senior Cuomo aide issued a statement regarding the phone call that read in part, "Mr. Kim is lying about his conversation with Governor Cuomo….At no time did anyone threaten to ‘destroy' anyone with their 'wrath' nor engage in a 'coverup.' Mr. Kim and the Governor's office have had a long, hostile relationship."
Yancey Roy, Newsday’s Albany Bureau chief, says Gov. Cuomo has never experienced this type of political blowback.
“The first term, if you recall, he hardly got any blowback on anything from state legislators. He was very popular, a very strong leader and I think part of this is that it's a third term and there's a whole lot of new legislators that have come in since 2011,” says Roy.
There’s no telling how it will ultimately play out, but the developments are stunning for a governor who always held a firm grip on his party and state government -- and for a man who for months was praised nationally for his handling of the pandemic.

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