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Impeachment probe to examine COVID tests for Cuomo relatives

A spokesperson for Cuomo did not explicitly deny that the administration had extended special treatment to people close to the governor.

ALBANY, N.Y. — A state lawmaker says the impeachment probe into New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is expanding to examine whether the governor unlawfully used his office to provide his family members with special access to scarce coronavirus tests a year ago. 

The office of Attorney General Letitia James, a fellow Democrat, issued a statement Thursday urging New York’s Joint Commission on Public Ethics to investigate the alleged preferential testing after reports were published in the Times Union of Albany, The New York Times, and The Washington Post. 

Rich Azzopardi, a spokesperson for Cuomo, did not explicitly deny that the administration had extended special treatment to people close to the governor but sought to dispute the notion.

Republican New York Senate Leader Rob Ortt issued a formal letter to the Joint Commission on Public Ethics requesting an investigation into the allegations. 

“It does not take a stretch of the imagination to see a clear connection between Governor Cuomo using his official position as the head of state government and the unwarranted privileges provided to his own family members and close associates. Obviously, while these actions would be egregious during normal times, they are particularly unconscionable because they occurred early on during the pandemic, at a time when testing was in short supply and high demand,” Senator Ortt stated in the letter. 

Governor Cuomo is also being investigated for allegations of sexual harassment and inappropriate behavior.