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Cuomo hires criminal defense lawyer following allegations of sexual harassment, covering up coronavirus nursin

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The administration of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has retained a prominent white-collar defense attorney as it grapples with allegations of sexual harassment and Justice Department inquiries into COVID-19 deaths in the state’s nursing homes.

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Elkan Abramowitz, a one-time federal prosecutor, confirmed he was representing the Executive Chamber—which comprises the governor and his closest aides—in both the sexual harassment and nursing-home matters. Rich Azzopardi, a senior adviser to Mr. Cuomo, deferred comment to Mr. Abramowitz.

The Democratic governor faces an investigation overseen by State Attorney General Letitia James into whether he sexually harassed women who previously worked in his administration. Mr. Cuomo acknowledged he had sometimes been overly personal while interacting with staff and said he was sorry if anyone mistook it for unwanted flirtation.

Mr. Cuomo said last week that the state is cooperating with three inquiries from the Brooklyn-based U.S. attorney’s office in the Eastern District of New York as well as the Justice Department’s Civil Rights and Civil divisions, which are based in Washington.

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Brooklyn federal prosecutors requested data on the number of people who died in New York’s long-term-care facilities as a result of the coronavirus, The Wall Street Journal has reported.

To read more from The Wall Street Journal, click here.

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