A spokeswoman for Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Wednesday that “no employee of the executive chamber” has been subpoenaed in connection with a federal investigation, a few hours after Cuomo wouldn’t say whether they had.
In a statement Wednesday evening, Communications Director Melissa DeRosa said Cuomo’s office looked into the issue after Cuomo was questioned by reporters earlier in the day. The Democratic governor had said he wasn’t personally subpoenaed or contacted by investigators.
Cuomo’s administration has attracted attention from U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara’s office, which has been examining the governor’s office’s role in the Moreland Commission’s investigation into corruption and its abrupt disbandment last March.
“In response to the earlier question as to whether or not any member of the executive chamber staff has been subpoenaed, we have checked and no employee of the executive chamber has,” DeRosa said. “As we have previously said, we will not comment further. As this is the US Attorney’s investigation, we refer any additional questions regarding any investigations to his office.”
The statement didn’t make clear whether previous employees of Cuomo’s office had been subpoenaed, nor does it address whether current employees have voluntarily spoken with investigators. The Wall Street Journal reported in August that former Counsel Mylan Denerstein and Secretary Larry Schwartz had agreed to voluntarily meet with the federal prosecutors.
Schwartz’ role in the Moreland panel’s activities has been particularly scrutinized, with the Daily News and The New York Times detailing his role in curtailing subpoenas that had been headed for Cuomo allies.
Schwartz, a White Plains resident, is no longer the governor’s secretary — his top aide — but he remains an employee of the executive chamber. Cuomo’s office says he is using accrued vacation time and is expected to remain on the payroll through early March.
(AP Photo/Mike Groll)