Cuomo

DODGES SEVERAL LEGAL BULLETS: Prosecutors from Albany to Nassau and Westchester counties have opted not to pursue cases charging ex-Governor Andrew Cuomo with inappropriate conduct toward women despite 'credible evidence' from some accusers, and the Manhattan District Attorney has opted not to charge him with misconduct in his handling of state nursing homes during the early weeks of the pandemic.

The Albany District Attorney's Office plans to drop a criminal charge that then-Gov. Andrew Cuomo groped a female aide 13 months ago, according to the Albany Times Union.

The charge had been brought by Albany County Sheriff Craig D. Apple late last October without notifying DA David Soares, who had immediately questioned the decision, spurring speculation that he might not pursue the case.
 
Didn't Tell Aide, Either
 
Nor did the Sheriff's Office at that time inform Brittany Commisso, who has accused the then-Governor of summoning her to the Executive Mansion on a pretext in December 2020, then reaching into her blouse from behind and groping her breast. 
 
Mr. Cuomo, who had been due to make his first appearance in Albany City Court Jan. 7 to face the misdemeanor charge, has denied he touched Ms. Commisso inappropriately.
 
Her lawyer, Brian D. Premo, indicated that she planned to sue the former Governor, telling The Times Union that his client would "continue to speak the truth and seek justice in an appropriate civil action, which she will do in due course."
 
Late last year, prosecutors in both Westchester and Nassau counties announced that they would not pursue charges that Mr. Cuomo had inappropriately kissed women without their consent despite finding "credible evidence" that he had done so. One of those allegations came from a former member of the Governor's protective detail, whose testimony to outside investigators tapped by State Attorney General Letitia James to probe allegations that he had sexually harassed numerous women, many of whom had worked for him, had been particularly damaging.
 
Resigned Amid Uproar 
 
A week after their report was released Aug. 3, Mr. Cuomo announced that he was resigning effective Aug. 24 after nearly 11 years in office.
 
Westchester DA Miriam Rocah, explaining why her office was not proceeding with the case, said in a statement that "although the allegations and witnesses were credible, and the conduct concerning, we cannot pursue criminal charges due to the statutory requirements of the criminal laws of New York."
 
A similar explanation was given by Acting Nassau County DA Joyce Smith, who has since left that post for a senior executive position with the new Manhattan DA, Alvin Bragg.
 
On Jan. 3, Mr. Bragg's office, according to attorney Elkan Abramowitz—who had represented Mr. Cuomo during that office's probe of his handling of state nursing homes during the early days of the pandemic—notified him that it had closed its investigation.
 
An Ill-Fated Decision
 
The then-Governor in late March 2020 approved a state Health Department directive that nursing-home residents who had been hospitalized with the coronavirus could, once stabilized, be returned to those homes. A week later, at his prodding, the state budget was passed with the insertion of a provision exempting both the hospitals and nursing homes from legal liability for those releases.
 
As the number of nursing-home deaths from the virus multiplied, questions arose as to whether a prime reason was the premature release of hospital patients who had remained contagious back to assisted-living facilities.
 
Suspicions intensified last January after a report from Ms. James's office found that the Cuomo administration had undercounted the assisted-living-facility death toll by more than 3,000. It was subsequently revealed by the New York Times that high-ranking aides, including then-Secretary to the Governor Melissa DeRosa, had altered a state Health Department report before it was released in July 2020 to delete a higher death figure for those homes. 
 
That change occurred at the same time that Mr. Cuomo was negotiating a $5.2-million advance from the publisher of his memoir detailing his efforts to help state residents cope with the threat of the virus.
 
Not Out of Woods
 
A State Assembly report released in November was harshly critical of Mr. Cuomo's handling of the book deal, and last month the state's Joint Commission on Public Ethics ordered him to repay the entire $5.2 million for misleading it about the thrust of the book and his compensation at the time that he gained approval to publish it.
 
There is reportedly an ongoing Federal investigation into the falsified death count and whether the book was a contributing factor in its being perpetrated. In February last year, Ms. DeRosa told Democratic state legislators that the administration had withheld information from them about nursing-home deaths the previous fall out of concern that if the higher numbers became public, then-President Donald Trump would use them against not only the Governor but Joe Biden in the closing weeks of the 2020 presidential election.  
 
Hochul Seeks Term Limits
 
Even as some of Mr. Cuomo's legal worries dissipated, lingering anger over his bullying tactics of both political opponents and his staff appeared to be the driving force behind Governor Hochul's plan—first reported by the New York Times—to include a call for two-term limits for offices including Governor, Attorney General and State Comptroller as part of her State of the State address Jan. 5.
 
That proposal would also bar those statewide officials from receiving outside income, unless it came from teaching—an item that clearly got its momentum from revulsion over her predecessor's large book advance and the possibility that he and his aides conspired to conceal politically damaging information that likely would have dampened enthusiasm for the book, which was titled "American Crisis: Leadership Lessons from the COVID-19 Pandemic."
0
1
0
0
0

(1) comment

Benzo

Ride off into the sunset on his Harley a Millionaire , All the gold diggers his heart can handle

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.