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Gov. Cuomo dodges questions in WNY for 2nd time in two weeks

March 13, 2019 06:19 PM

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WHEC) -- After telling reporters that he would take questions on topics important to upstate New Yorkers on Tuesday, Gov. Cuomo apparently changed his mind.

He left a public event in Buffalo out a side door and was whisked away in a waiting SUV.

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This is the second time in two weeks the governor has held a press conference in western New York without actually taking questions from the press.

Last week, Cuomo was in Rochester.

When his aides saw News10NBC Investigative Reporter Jennifer Lewke by his SUV waiting to speak with him, his driver quickly pulled out, raced around the corner and picked the governor up at another door. Cuomo then proceeded to get in the car and get on the phone for an interview with a reporter from the New York City area.  

On Tuesday, the governor was in Buffalo to announce funding for revitalization. News10NBC made the trip out to try to speak with him about two big stories we've been covering lately.  

We wanted to ask him about his executive order that is prohibiting SUNY swimmers from staying in the state where their national championships are being held next week.  

We also wanted to get more information about what the state is doing to ensure the safety of the patients at Sodus Rehabilitation and Nursing Center. A year-long News10NBC Investigation has exposed horrific conditions and care there. 

When News10NBC Investigative Reporter Jennifer Lewke arrived at the event in Buffalo, a press aide told her the governor would take off-topic questions backstage after his public event was over.

As she and other reporters and photographers were being escorted by a state-staffer to the predetermined area, they were suddenly told that the governor had left the venue and would no longer be available for interviews. 

Typically, this situation would be a behind-the-scenes annoyance for reporters but News10NBC has been trying to speak with the governor for a while now and as a public official, accountable to all taxpayers, we feel he has an obligation to take questions [at least occasionally] here in western New York.

We did reach back out to the governor's office on Tuesday afternoon to make sure it wasn't an emergency that triggered his change of heart.

Credits

Jennifer Lewke

Copyright 2019 - WHEC-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company

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