Investigation into New York Nursing Home Scandal Closes, Andrew Cuomo Will Not Be Charged

Posted: Jan 03, 2022 7:45 PM
Investigation into New York Nursing Home Scandal Closes, Andrew Cuomo Will Not Be Charged

Source: AP Photo/Seth Wenig, Pool, File

The Manhattan district attorney's office is closing its investigation into disgraced former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) for his role in the state's nursing home deaths resulting from policies he implemented early on in the coronavirus pandemic, and the governor will not be charged.

Elkan Abramowitz, a former federal prosecutor hired to represent Cuomo while he was still in office, announced the news in a statement released Monday.

"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 probe into the former governor was opened following a report last year from New York state Attorney General Letitia James' office showing that the state's Department of Health undercounted coronavirus nursing home deaths by as much as 50 percent.

Cuomo had instructed nursing homes to take in people who were COVID-positive or were suspected of having a case of the virus during the early days of the pandemic. The governor came under scrutiny for this move after it was learned that thousands of elderly patients became caught the virus.

"As the pandemic and our investigations continue, it is imperative that we understand why the residents of nursing homes in New York unnecessarily suffered at such an alarming rate," James said in a statement at the time. "While we cannot bring back the individuals we lost to this crisis, this report seeks to offer transparency that the public deserves and to spur increased action to protect our most vulnerable residents."

A separate investigation concluded by the New York Assembly in November found that Cuomo's administration misrepresented data on nursing home coronavirus deaths.

New York state only counted the deaths of residents who died on the property of a nursing home and excluded those who died after being transferred to hospitals. This probe revealed that the majority of the deaths took place in hospitals.

According to Fox News meteorologist Janice Dean, who has pushed for accountability for Cuomo for his role in the nursing home deaths, said that the Federal Bureau of Investigations, the Eastern District of New York Department of Justice and the state's attorney general are all still investigating the nursing home scandal.

Cuomo announced his resignation from office in August after a report from James' office revealed he had sexually harassed 11 women, a violation of state and federal law. Cuomo has repeatedly denied all allegations of sexual harassment.