NY taxpayers footing the bill for Cuomo's legal fees

When it comes to paying for his defense in the nursing home scandal, Governor Andrew Cuomo is not using his own, personal money to pay for his lawyers.   A contract for $2.5 million is being paid for by New York State taxpayers.

State Assemblyman Ron Kim of Queens has been a strong critic of the Governor and his administration for underreporting the number of nursing home deaths and writing a book during the height of the pandemic.

"It's absolutely grotesque and ridiculous that we're paying for his legal fees.  He did this to himself. He defrauded the public.  He hid life and death information." 

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The contract between the governor's executive chamber and the law firm Morvillo Abramowitz shows Elkan Abramowitz is being paid $937.50  per hour.  By the way, that is 25 percent less than what he usually receives.   Some of his law firm partners are getting 680 dollars an hour.

The lawyers are representing Cuomo in the ongoing federal investigation by the Justice Department.

At his daily briefing Wednesday, the governor was asked about taxpayers footing the bill for his legal defense.

"The way it works is the executive chamber has retained counsel and that is a state expense.  It has been in every investigation. So, that's where we are now," Cuomo said.

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"He has millions and millions. This is Governor Cuomo. Tens of millions of dollars in his campaign war chest.  He can pay for his own legal fees but he's choosing not to," Assemblyman Kim said.  "If he is found guilty of any of the charges and accusations, he should be paying back every dollar that he used to defend himself with taxpayers money."