Hochul’s office reviewing administration personnel

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — Gov. Kathy Hochul’s office is undertaking a more extensive review of administration personnel.

She already removed some people named in the New York State Attorney General’s Office’s report that claimed former governor Andrew Cuomo sexually harassed 11 women.

The goal is to take a closer look at the employees who were involved in decisions surrounding nursing homes during the COVID-19 pandemic, especially with the reporting of nursing home deaths in the first 10 months of the pandemic.

"I need to continue to work to identify principles involved in those decisions,” Hochul said. “And I’m working to go through those. I’ve asked for a 45-day period to be able to assemble my team, and I’m not going to be replacing people when we’re in the middle of a pandemic on this day because we have so much to do to protect New Yorkers, and we’re not anywhere near where we need to be. But I’ll be taking an approach that’s very different."

Around 15,000 residents of nursing homes and other elder care facilities have died in the state with COVID-19 since the pandemic’s start, according to New York State Department of Health records.

Back in January, New York State Attorney General Letitia James released a report saying that at that point, nursing home deaths had been undercounted by as much as 50%.

Reports then started to come out, claiming that Cuomo’s administration made changes to nursing home COVID-19 death data for months, all while Cuomo was writing his book, "American Crisis: Leadership Lessons from the COVID-19 Pandemic".

He was paid a $3.1 million advance to write the book and under his publishing contract, was set to make another $2 million on the memoir over the next two years.