A $2.5 million contract made public Thursday by the state comptroller's office indicates a law firm hired to represent former Gov. Andrew Cuomo's administration was retained in part to perform legal work related to a federal Department of Justice investigation into allegations of sexual harassment leveled against Cuomo.
The contract with Willkie Farr & Gallagher was approved this week by Comptroller Tom DiNapoli's office.
Rich Azzopardi, a spokesman for Cuomo, said in a statement the Civil Division of the Department of Justice had opened the investigation in August. The investigation was based on the report detailing sexual harassment and inappropriate conduct allegations by 11 women released that month by Attorney General Letitia James' office "and we have heard nothing since."
Cuomo resigned Aug. 24.
New York taxpayers have spent millions of dollars in legal fees connected to investigations of Cuomo and his former administration. An attorney for Cuomo in a response letter in July indicated a federal investigation into allegations the governor's office misreported nursing home fatalities was active as of that month.
A state Assembly report released in November provided new details of how Cuomo used government resources and state employees to help him write a book about the pandemic, part of a $5.1 million deal reached as his administration was working to rebut criticism of his handling of nursing homes during the public health crisis.
James' office is investigating the use of state resources to help Cuomo write the book.