“Not myself,” the Democratic governor said, in response to a reporter asking whether he or his staff had received a subpoena or been contacted. “You’d have to ask people individually.”
When pressed again about whether his administration had received subpoenas, he said, “You’d have to ask individuals. None to me.”
Cuomo said he might “not necessarily” know if his staff had been contacted or subpoenaed.
U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara has an open investigation of corruption in state government — a probe that recently resulted in bribery charges against ex-Speaker Sheldon Silver, a Manhattan Democrat. Last month, when he announced charges against Silver, Bharara said his work continues. “Stay tuned,” he said.
Cuomo’s administration hired a criminal defense attorney last summer after questions arose about whether a top aide pressured an anti-corruption commission not to investigate groups linked to the governor. Cuomo had abruptly disbanded the commission last spring in a deal brokered with Silver and other top lawmakers that resulted in some ethics reforms.
Silver, 71, is accused of taking nearly $4 million in kickbacks and payoffs disguised as legal fees over a decade in return for providing state grants to a medical clinic that referred patients to one law firm and real estate legislation beneficial to a developer who brought business to another law firm.
Silver pleaded not guilty on Tuesday. Following his arrest he stepped down as speaker, a position he had held for more than 20 years. He is keeping his Assembly seat.
Cuomo has called for a legislative ethics overhaul that would require lawmakers to disclose more details about their outside income.