Now Cuomo won't face charges in nursing home debacle either

Now Cuomo won't face charges in nursing home debacle either
AP Photo/Seth Wenig

For a person who was only recently looking at being brought up on charges for multiple offenses ranging from potential corruption to sexual assault, former New York Governor Andrew Cuomo appears to be on a lucky streak that most gamblers in Vegas would envy. Yesterday, the Manhattan District Attorney concluded a lengthy investigation into the staggering number of deaths at New York nursing homes and Cuomo’s attempts to shield those numbers from the public. The DA’s office has now determined that no laws were broken in the course of those events and no charges would be filed against Cuomo as a result. What’s unclear at this point is which District Attorney reached that decision. The new DA, Alvin Bragg, only took office on Saturday, but the investigation was handled by his predecessor, Cyrus Vance. Either way, the result appears to be the same, and Cuomo will once again avoid facing his day in court. (Politico)

Prosecutors in Manhattan have concluded former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo did not break the law when his administration misled the public about the number of Covid-19 deaths tied to nursing homes, the Democrat’s former attorney said on Monday.

Elkan Abramowitz, who served as outside counsel to Cuomo’s office, said in a statement that the former governor was told Monday by the head of the Manhattan district attorney’s Elder Abuse Unit that the office had completed a “thorough investigation“ and would not bring charges.

“As we have said all along — there was no evidence to suggest that any laws were broken,” Abramowitz said in the statement.

Even Cuomo’s attorneys aren’t willing to go so far as to say that he didn’t do anything wrong. They’re only saying that “no laws were broken.” And as much as it pains me to say it, that’s probably an accurate assessment. It should be obvious that Cuomo’s executive orders forcing nursing homes to take in patients without even bothering to test them for COVID led to a huge number of deaths. It’s also equally unarguable that he either lied about the total number of nursing home COVID deaths or was completely incompetent about how they needed to be counted.

But none of that seems to amount to a prosecutable offense. Let’s face it… if we started locking up American politicians for making stupid decisions or lying, we would need to construct roughly a million more prisons immediately.

As I suggested above, Cuomo has been on a hot streak lately. After initially being ordered to return the generous advance he received from his book deal, it now appears that the state won’t be able to take that money from him. On top of that, two other District Attorneys recently said that they will be unable to bring charges against the former governor in some of the most serious sexual assault or harassment allegations he was facing. At the rate things are going, it would appear that the only date Cuomo has with a court involves a single misdemeanor groping charge that he will be arraigned for later this month. (And analysts are not at all positive that he can even be convicted of that.)

Meanwhile, state Attorney General Letitia James issued another report this week indicating that New York undercounted nursing home COVID deaths by as much as 50%. There are still nearly two dozen nursing homes where the investigations are ongoing, but among the others, it’s now believed that during the first year of the pandemic there were as many as 8,900 confirmed or presumed deaths in New York nursing homes and assisted care facilities. That’s far more than double the number that the Cuomo administration publicly admitted to. To this day, Cuomo still claims that he was simply setting policy in accordance with guidance from the Trump administration.

Cuomo left a staggering record of lethal incompetence and inappropriate sexual behavior toward women in his wake. And yet it appears increasingly likely that he will sail off into the sunset to spend his enviable wealth in peace without ever seeing the inside of a jail cell. Some people just have all the luck.

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