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ALBANY, NY (WRGB) — The people involved in helping Governor Andrew Cuomo prepare his book on pandemic leadership last year, now have some new reading material — federal subpoenas.
The Wall Street Journal reports those subpoenas were issued to top Cuomo aides. The feds apparently want documents related to the book. The governor was paid $5.1 million for the memoir — critics say at the same time he was hyping the book, he was undercounting COVID-19 nursing home deaths. Months later the NYS Attorney General issued a scathing report confirming an undercount of nursing home deaths of nearly fifty percent.
As for the subpoenas, attorney Leslie Silva, a partner with Tully Rinckey says, “So far they have only subpoenaed written communications and written documents. They’re particularly looking for information from early edits which I think is very telling. What they’re looking for is inconsistency.”
Cuomo aides have blamed this federal investigation for the undercount and for the refusal to provide information to state lawmakers and the media. Secretary to the Governor Melissa DeRosa told lawmakers back in February of this year that the Cuomo administration “froze” when they learned of the investigation.
All this, now being looked at very closely.
Silva says “They’re looking to see if any of the original data was changed for the purposes of the book and if any of that original data is different from what the Governor and his aides have produced to the federal government or the state government.”
Leslie Silva says that changes and false information, could possibly lead to charges under the federal False Claims Act.
Other investigations continue — a NYS Assembly impeachment investigation and a probe by the NYS Attorney General Letitia James — and there are other allegations – -most notably sexual harassment claims against the Governor.
Meantime there’s the politics of all this — City & State New York is out with its new power rankings — Governor Cuomo is number two on the list. The Attorney General Letitia James, is number one.