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‘Not what we’re elected to do’: state legislators react to claims Cuomo abused power for COVID tests

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NEW YORK (WBNG) -- Southern Tier elected officials expressed concern Thursday over a widely-published Times Union report alleging Governor Andrew Cuomo abused his position to secure COVID testing last March.

Both State Senator Fred Akshar (R, District 52) and State Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo (D, District 123) said the report needs to be fully investigated.

Akshar suggested the NY State Senate Investigations Committee open a formal investigation into the matter, while Lupardo said the state assembly should include this newest allegation against the governor as part of its larger impeachment investigation currently ongoing.

Akshar said an abuse of power is one of the most serious things a politician can do.

"No one should ever use their elected position for personal gain and if true, if they have, then they need to find a different profession because that's not what we're elected to do," he told 12 News Thursday.

Lupardo said a sitting governor hasn't been impeached in New York in over 100 years, and if the legislature is going to undergo this process, it needs to have all of the facts.

"We didn't enter into this lightly; I want to make sure that process continues, and we want to make sure the investigators do everything possible to look into all of these allegations, all of these issues and get it right," she said.

The report alleges the governor secured priority testing for his mother, brother, and state transportation leaders; Lupardo and Akshar both mentioned they were concerned state health officials were involved in personally administering the tests, as the report claims.

Josh Rosenblatt

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