Cuomo aide, who is accused of helping cover up nursing-home death tolls, was once a professor of ethics in government

linda lacewell cuomo
Linda Lacewell, right, after testifying at a bribery trial in Manhattan on January 24, 2018.

  • Linda Lacewell, a top Cuomo aide, is accused of covering up the number of New York’s nursing-home deaths.
  • Lacewell was previously Cuomo’s Chief of Staff and oversaw “ethics and law enforcement matters.”
  • She also taught classes on ethics in government at New York University’s School of Law.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

One of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s senior aides who faces allegations involving the nursing-home death toll cover-up previously taught classes on ethics in government, legal news website Law & Crime reported.

Linda Lacewell, the head of New York’s Department of Financial Services, is one of the three top aides accused of changing a report to conceal the real number of deaths in the state’s nursing homes during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to The New York Times.

The Cuomo administration publicly cited figures that were roughly 50% lower than the real death toll, The Times reported.

Lacewell, who formerly served as Cuomo’s Chief of Staff, is one of the officials who is alleged to have directed the removal of COVID-19 deaths from the report, the New York Post reported.

The allegations are at odds with Lacewell’s background in ethics. She oversaw “ethics and law enforcement matters” while acting as Cuomo’s Chief of Staff, according to her biography on the New York State website.

Lacewell was also a professor of ethics for several years. While serving as an adjunct professor at New York University School of Law, Lacewell taught a class called “Ethics in Government: Investigation and Enforcement.”

In response to questions from Law & Crime about Lacewell’s involvement in rewriting the report, the website was directed to two statements that assert that the true number of deaths in nursing homes was omitted due to verification issues.

“The out-of-facility data was omitted after Department of Health could not confirm it had been adequately verified,” Special Counsel and Senior Advisor to Cuomo, Beth Garvey, said in the statement.

“Task Force Members, knowing the report needed to withstand rigorous public scrutiny were very cautious to not overstate the statistical analysis presented in the report,” Garvey added.

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