State Watch

New York taxpayers could foot Cuomo’s $2.5M legal bills


New York taxpayers could end up footing the bill for New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s (D) $2.5 million contract with a lawyer representing him in a federal probe into the alleged altering of the number of deaths in nursing homes in the state during the COVID-19 pandemic, Cuomo said on Wednesday, The Associated Press reported.

“The way it works is the executive chamber has retained a counsel,” Cuomo said. “And that is a state expense. It has been in every investigation. So that’s where we are now.”

State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli’s office has approved a contract with Morvillo Abramowitz Grand Iason & Anello, a Manhattan firm, for $2.5 million where partner Elkan Abramowitz will get paid over $900 an hour, according to the AP. Others in the contract will be paid over $600 an hour.

Cuomo said he is not using campaign or personal funds for any of his lawyers. It is unclear how much the final price tag on all legal representation will be.  

Cuomo is facing multiple investigations including the handling of the number of nursing home deaths during the pandemic and sexual assault allegations. The $2.5 million contract includes attorneys only representing Cuomo in the nursing home probe.

A separate investigation is looking into sexual assault allegations brought forth by several women, including government employees, who said Cuomo made inappropriate comments and touched them over multiple occasions. Cuomo has denied the allegations.

A former federal prosecutor is representing Cuomo on the sexual harassment allegations but Cuomo’s office did not provide details on that compensation. 

There have been many calls from both sides of the aisle for Cuomo to step down amid the allegations, but he has indicated he has no plans to do so. 

The Hill has reached out to the governor’s office for comment.

Tags Andrew Cuomo Andrew Cuomo's response to nursing homes during the COVID-19 pandemic New York
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