Reports: FBI, US attorney probing Cuomo administration's handling of nursing homes during pandemic
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 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broad emergency powers Cuomo was granted during the pandemic to be rescinded.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.