Cuomo hires defense attorney amid Moreland scandal

US attorney examining whether governor shielded real estate execs from ethics panel probe
August 01, 2014 10:30AM

Governor Andrew Cuomo hired defense attorney Elkan Abramowitz as the scandal about the way he handled his anti-corruption commission grows.

Abramowitz will represent the governor’s office in U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara’s investigation into the administration’s dealings with the Moreland Commission, which was formed by Cuomo last July to combat public corruption. Top Cuomo aides Larry Schwartz and Mylan Denerstein both hired their own personal attorneys as well.

A recent New York Times investigation exposed how Cuomo reportedly looked to block a subpoena that the commission intended to send to REBNY to investigate the organization’s political donations.

Last week, four commission members released statements supporting the governor’s actions. In response, Bharara sent a letter to the lawyer representing the panel, stating that he might investigate whether the Cuomo administration engaged in obstruction of justice or witness tampering. [NYDN] — Claire Moses