August 6, 2013

Congress Investigating If Cuomo Buried State Audit To Protect Prominent Advisor

The Wall Street Journal reports that Congress has begun an investigation into whether Cuomo’s office watered down the findings of an audit which showed that a non-profit whose CEO was a prominent Cuomo advisor and ally – and enjoyed a seven-figure salary – was overbilling the state to the tune of over $150 million:

The Republican-led House Oversight and Government Reform Committee is investigating why a final report on the audit—begun in 2008—hasn’t been released and why its findings appeared to have been scaled down, the committee’s chairman, Darrell Issa (R., Calif.), said through a spokeswoman. Mr. Cuomo is a Democrat.

In an Aug. 4 letter to Visiting Nurse Service, Mr. Issa said the Cuomo administration initially found in February 2011 that the nonprofit company had overbilled the state by $153 million. Committee investigators have obtained information indicating that the report’s release was delayed at the request of Mr. Cuomo’s office, Mr. Issa said, and its findings were revised downward to $68 million in May. 

At the same time in 2011, Visiting Nurse Service’s $1 million-a-year chief executive, Carol Raphael, was a member of a special policy team appointed by Mr. Cuomo to redesign Medicaid. Ms. Raphael has since left the nonprofit and now works as a policy adviser for a division of Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP, a law firm that lobbies in Albany. She didn’t respond to a request for comment on Monday.