Cuomo meddled with Hurricane Sandy investigation: report

NYT finds that governor used similar tactics as he did during his dealings with the public corruption task force

From left: Governor Andrew Cuomo and LIPA crews
From left: Governor Andrew Cuomo and LIPA crews

Gov. Andrew Cuomo interfered with a commission tasked with looking into the post-Superstorm Sandy operations of  the Long Island Power Authority much in the same way as he did with a commission tasked to look into public corruption, according to a new investigative report from the New York Times. 

The newspaper found that Cuomo’s office interfered with the commission’s investigation, tried to cover the real level of the administration’s involvement and had a preconceived idea of what the findings should be — the same behavior it displayed when dealing with the public corruption task force, which was looking into, among other things, the governor’s relationship with the real estate industry.

During the months leading up to Sandy, the Cuomo administration didn’t help LIPA fill staff vacancies that the authority needed in the aftermath of the storm, the newspaper reported. One of those positions was an executive to oversee communications with customers who were without power following the storm. During Sandy’s immediate aftermath, all communications and news releases had to be sent through the governor’s office, delaying essential communication about when power would be restored.

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The governor is up for re-election next week.

The report that came out of the commission looking at LIPA recommended that the authority should privatize. The report presented the decision as a unanimous one. In reality, however, not all commissioners agreed.

“The license they took to manipulate things was really something,” Peter Bradford, a member of the post-hurricane commission told the Times. [NYT] — Claire Moses