Assemblyman Chris Tague (R-Schoharie) today called for the United States Department of Justice to immediately appoint a special prosecutor in the Southern District of New York following the revelation that the US Attorney in that jurisdiction is the mother-in-law of Melissa DeRosa, a top aide to Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
Tague believes it’s urgent to make the appointment now to ensure the investigation into the Cuomo administration is impartial and transparent, and void of family drama.
Last week, it was reported that DeRosa admitted to criminal obstruction of justice during a secret phone call with state Majority members. It was revealed DeRosa said she and the Cuomo administration “froze” when pressed by the federal government to comply with a standard request to release the full and complete nursing home data since the COVID pandemic began.
DeRosa said the Cuomo administration was fearful the true numbers would be used against them in a federal investigation, and later apologized for the uncomfortable political position the administration put them in as lawmakers were seeking re-election in November.
DeRosa’s mother-in-law, Audrey Strauss, was appointed US Attorney for the Southern District in June 2020, three months after the infamous March 25th nursing home executive order was implemented by Gov. Cuomo.
“Gov. Cuomo has made it a hallmark of his administration to plug key allies and their family members into positions that would protect and provide him cover. That will not work for him in this case,” said Tague. “The words and actions of Melissa DeRosa – and the entire Cuomo administration – have been reprehensible.
“The heartbreak and sorrow from those impacted by the nursing home scandal has been met by arrogance, shaming and lack of compassion from Gov. Cuomo and his administration.
“Ms. DeRosa – and the Cuomo administration – should not be investigated or prosecuted by her mother-in-law. An immediate appointment of a special prosecutor into this case must happen. The Cuomo administration’s actions have not been transparent; we must ensure the investigation and prosecution of them is.”