ALBANY – Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s administration is under FBI investigation for what the Times Union of Albany reports is a decades-old practice of spreading governor’s office employee salaries across the payrolls of various other state agencies and authorities.
The report says investigators have talked to some of Cuomo’s employees over the last several months about hiring practices, which the paper says New York governors have used for years to inflate their staff while keeping the governor’s office budget down on paper.
A spokesman for Cuomo declined to directly confirm or deny an FBI probe is taking place, but defended the hiring strategy and called the probe’s reported line of questioning “absurd.”
“In this environment, anyone can ask about anything, but the fact is the longstanding practice of detailing staff from Agencies to work in the Executive Chamber dates back over 50 years to at least the Rockefeller administration, and extends to the White House and the Federal Department of Justice,” Cuomo spokesman Rich Azzopardi said in a statement.
“Given that the Federal Department of Justice and the White House have a long history of utilizing this practice, perhaps the FBI can investigate them when this is charade is over.”
An FBI spokesman reportedly could not be reached for comment, while a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for New York’s Eastern District declined comment.