Last week exonerated from sex abuse, yesterday Manhattan DA dropped also the COVID nursing home probe of Cuomo
Andrew Cuomo exonerated, again
The Manhattan district attorney’s office has dropped also the probe into Andrew Cuomo over allegations he mishandled nursing homes during the initial coronavirus outbreak.
Cuomo’s spokesman forwarded a statement from Elkan Abramowitz, an attorney who had repped the governor’s office under Cuomo.
“I was contacted today by the head of the Elder Care Unit from the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office who informed me they have closed its investigation involving the Executive Chamber and nursing homes,” Abramowitz said.
“I was told that after a thorough investigation — as we have said all along — there was no evidence to suggest that any laws were broken.”
The Manhattan prosecutor’s office, now headed by new DA Alvin Bragg, declined comment. The probe was initiated by ex-DA Cyrus Vance Jr., whose term ended New Year’s Eve, and it was under Vance that the investigation was quashed last Thursday, a source told The Post.
Cuomo has faced fierce criticism for a March 25, 2020, directive by his Health Department that ordered nursing homes to admit infected patients being discharged from hospitals, despite the facilities’ vulnerable populations. Independent reports claimed the policy caused more deaths.
And word that Bragg has dropped the case against Cuomo infuriated family members who lost loved ones to COVID-19 while in long-term care facilities.
“Letting Cuomo off the hook is a bad way to start 2022,” said Vivian Zayas, co-founder of Voices For Seniors, whose mother, Ana Martinez, died of COVID while in a nursing rehab facility.
“Fifteen thousand people lost their lives in nursing homes. It doesn’t look like prosecutors are taking this seriously. They’re basically protecting Cuomo.
“We are disappointed in our judicial system.”
And Assemblyman Ron Kim (D-Queens) said Cuomo isn’t out of the woods yet.
Kim, chairman of the Assembly Aging Committee, said he considered the ongoing probes by federal prosecutors and AG James more serious threats to Cuomo than the Manhattan DA’s inquiry.
“Cuomo used his executive power to suppress nursing home deaths while chasing a $5.1 million book deal. Sooner or later the truth will come out,” Kim said.
The feds’ probe is still examining the Cuomo administration’s actions relating to the nursing homes and other long-term care facilities after thousands of their residents died from COVID-19.
The FBI also interviewed state officials about Cuomo’s $5.1 million profit-making pandemic book — “American Crisis: Leadership Lessons from the COVID-19 Pandemic” — negotiated and published while he was accused of covering up the total nursing home death toll from the pandemic.
The probes by the feds and the AG’s office are still active.
Last February, The Post exclusively revealed that then-top Cuomo aide Melissa DeRosa privately acknowledged during a video conference with Democratic state lawmakers that administration officials stonewalled them about the extent of nursing home deaths due to a potential investigation by the Justice Department.
That report sparked the Manhattan DA probe.
A stinging report released last January by James concluded that Cuomo undercounted coronavirus-linked nursing home deaths by 50 percent.
Cuomo resigned in August after a devastating report by James’ office found that the ex-governor had mistreated or harassed a slew of women — including government staffers. He denied wrongdoing but stepped down while facing impeachment.
But Cuomo is off the hook for planting unwanted kisses on a female state trooper and a random woman during separate incidents while he was in office, the Westchester County district attorney reported last week.
That announcement came a week after acting Nassau DA Joyce Smith said “credible” and “deeply troubling” allegations that Cuomo ran his hand across the trooper’s belly at Long Island’s Belmont Park in 2019 were also “not criminal under New York law.”
At least three other district attorneys — in Albany, Manhattan and Oswego counties — also launched investigations after James’ report accused Cuomo of sexually harassing 11 women, including nine current or former state workers, during his two-plus terms as governor.
In October, Cuomo, 64, was charged with forcible touching, a misdemeanor, for allegedly groping the left breast of then-aide Brittany Commisso, 33, inside Albany’s Executive Mansion, the governor’s official residence, on Dec. 7, 2020.
Cuomo, who said the incident never happened, is scheduled to be arraigned in Albany City Court on Friday.