New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s administration has retained a prominent white-collar defense attorney following Justice Department inquiries over COVID-19 nursing home deaths, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Attorney Elkan Abramowitz – a former federal prosecutor – confirmed with the Journal that he is now representing Cuomo executive chamber, which includes the governor and his closes aides. WSJ originally reported Abramowitz will represent Cuomo for both the nursing home and allegations of sexual harassment scandals, however, his office told Bloomberg, that he’s only representing the nursing home scandal.
“My firm and I are representing the Executive Chamber on the Nursing Home matter. We have not been retained on the sexual harassment matter,” he said in an email.
Meanwhile, the governor has stepped out of the public spotlight – last making a televised pandemic briefing on Feb. 19, while his public schedule remains empty according to Bloomberg.
Cuomo’s uncharacteristic silence comes a day after he agreed to an independent probe by a special investigator after a second former aide accused him of sexual harassment. Cuomo stopped short of having New York Attorney General Letitia James lead the probe, a move championed by dozens of other lawmakers.
On Monday, state Senator Todd Kaminsky introduced a bill that would allow the attorney general to conduct a criminal investigation without a referral from the governor, a move he said would strengthen independent oversight of the governor and other state officials.