ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Governor Andrew Cuomo addressed the controversy over last week’s New York Post report that the state hid nursing home data over fear of a federal probe for the first time on camera Monday.
Numerous lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have called for an independent investigation and for the Governor’s emergency powers to be stripped.
The Governor acknowledged Monday that if he could “rewind the tape” when it came to releasing requested nursing home data, his administration should have put it out sooner.
“I understand the public had many questions and concerns and the press had many questions about nursing homes primarily, and I understand that they were not answered quickly enough. And they should have been prioritized and prioritize those requests sooner.”
The Governor maintains that the state was working on fulfilling a Department of Justice request instead.
“We paused the state legislature’s request. We voluntarily complied with the DOJ request for information,” he said.
While the Governor says the state Senate and Assembly were aware, Democrat State Senator Alessandra Biaggi tweeted that he, “did not tell the entire Senate or Assembly that there was a DOJ investigation as the reason why [he] didn’t share the nursing home numbers.”
In a statement Senate Republican Leader Ortt said:
“To be clear, the Senate Republicans were never notified by the Governor’s Administration regarding the Department of Justice request. People want the truth and the only way that can be provided is through investigations by the Department of Justice and the Attorney General.”
The New York Post was first to report that during a meeting with committee chairs last week, Secretary to the Governor Melissa DeRosa said following the August DOJ letter, “… basically, we froze, because then we were in a position where we weren’t sure if what we were going to give to the Department of Justice or what we give to you guys, what we start saying was going to be used against us while we weren’t sure if there was going to be an investigation.”