The contract lists various investigations that the New York State Executive Chamber, which encompasses the governor’s office, is currently facing, including a federal investigation into the chamber’s Covid-19 pandemic response as it relates to nursing homes, the publication of Cuomo’s book on the pandemic and other pandemic-related matters.
“DOJ has also undertaken an inquiry related to sexual harassment claims made against the then Governor,” the contract reads, referring to the Department of Justice.
The Executive Chamber was notified of the existence of the civil federal probe into sexual harassment allegations on August 17, according to the governor’s office.
Cuomo’s last day as governor was August 23, when he resigned.
Cuomo, a Democrat, has repeatedly rejected allegations against him, including in sworn testimony to investigators looking into the harassment allegations for the New York Attorney General’s Office.
Hazel Crampton-Hays, a spokeswoman for current New York Gov. Kathy Hochul, also a Democrat, said in a statement to CNN that the Executive Chamber received an inquiry related to an investigation being conducted by the Civil Rights Division of the Justice Department and the US Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York.
“The current administration retained counsel to handle matters relating to ongoing investigations inherited from the previous administration,” Crampton-Hays said. “As this is an ongoing investigation, we will not comment further at this time.”
A spokesman for the US attorney’s office in Brooklyn would not confirm if the investigation was ongoing. CNN previously reported on the US attorney’s investigation into the Cuomo administration’s handling of nursing home death data. A spokesman for the US attorney’s office had no comment when contacted by CNN.
“Our understanding is that the Civil Division opened an inquiry in August based upon the AG’s politically motivated sham report and we have heard nothing since,” Cuomo’s spokesman Rich Azzopardi said in a statement to CNN.
The contract, which engages the services of the law firm Willkie Farr & Gallagher for September 10, 2021, through September 9, 2022, was approved on November 30 by the state comptroller’s office.
CNN has reached out to the law firm for comment.
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