Federal prosecutors are reportedly investigating Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office for alleged fast-tracking of COVID-19 tests for his family, including his CNN host brother Chris Cuomo, who’s been staying at his Southampton home.
The U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, which prosecutes federal crimes on Long Island, started looking into the accusations as it expanded its probe of the administration’s alleged underreporting of the coronavirus nursing home death data, according to The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal, which both cited anonymous sources in their reporting. Prosecutors declined to comment and the governor’s office did not respond to a request.
“Prosecutors have recently contacted and scheduled interviews with officials in the Democratic governor’s office who worked on the testing program,” The Journal reported.
As Dan’s Papers has reported, the State Assembly’s judiciary committee has been investigating the administration’s alleged prioritization of virus tests for friends, family and others in the early days of the pandemic when tests were not widely available, which raises the question of whether he or his staff violated state laws against public officials granting such favoritism. The committee is handling the allegation as part of a larger impeachment inquiry into accusations the governor sexually harassed several women, whether his recent $5 million book deal improperly used state resources, and other claims.
State law prohibits government officials from using “his or her official position to secure unwarranted privileges or exemptions for himself or herself or others, including but not limited to, the misappropriation to himself, herself or to others of the property, services or other resources of the state for private business or other compensated non-governmental purposes.”
CNN had issued a statement downplaying the allegations, saying it was “not surprising” the broadcaster sought the governor’s help before the Cuomo Prime Time host was diagnosed with COVID-19.
Related Story: Cuomo’s Impeachment Probe Takes Hamptons Star Turn