ALBANY — The highest Republican on the Investigations and Authorities Operations Committee desires Legal professional Common Letitia James to analyze marketing campaign contributions made to Gov. Andrew Cuomo from people affiliated with a outstanding medical donor community awarded hundreds of thousands in coronavirus-related state contracts that have been lately revealed by The Submit.
State senator and rating GOP committee member Tom O’Mara (R-Elmira) despatched a letter to James Friday requesting her workplace “instantly” probe the almost $230,000 in political contributions made to Cuomo by people affiliated with Somos Healthcare Suppliers.
The nonprofit additionally obtained 5 emergency pandemic contracts with $62 million.
He additionally desires James to analyze donations made by the gaming business, after the Wall Avenue Journal reported business donors felt pressured to present cash to Cuomo prior to now or else lose out on enterprise.
“Sadly, in state authorities there are occasions when these in workplace interact in ‘pay-to-play’. We now have seen and heard numerous allegations over current years and in current days that the Governor and his administration might have improperly influenced the state contract course of and engaged in such schemes,” wrote O’Mara, referring to previous public corruption scandals tied to former Cuomo aides and enterprise associates.
Joe Percoco — the governor’s ex-top marketing campaign aide and shut household good friend — is at present sitting in federal jail for accepting tons of of hundreds in bribes from actual property builders in search of associated to the notorious “Buffalo Billion” corruption case.
“Collaborating in ‘pay-to-play’ raises critical issues on behalf of the taxpayers and residents of New York State, not solely threatening their belief in authorities contracts, however in state authorities as a complete,” he added.
“We imagine that the governor’s workplace has develop into a poisonous surroundings the place there are not any guidelines and no accountability,” he continued.
“As you understand, the governor is at present below investigation by your workplace for a number of harassment and misconduct claims. He’s additionally being investigated for the outrageous cover-up of COVID-19 nursing dwelling deaths, along with a number of different inquiries which can be being carried out by numerous companies on the state and federal ranges.”
A spokesperson for James mentioned her workplace is reviewing the request.
Cuomo spokesman and senior advisor Wealthy Azzopardi denied O’Mara’s “pay to play” assertion.
“No donation of any measurement has any affect on a authorities choice – interval – and that is nothing greater than an affordable hit — and never even a very good one — from a craven politician in search of a headline,” he mentioned.