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DiNapoli ripped for not probing COVID-19 nursing home deaths

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Nursing home advocates and Assemblyman Ron Kim ripped into state Comptroller Tom DiNapoli for “slow walking” a request to initiate a probe into Gov. Cuomo’s handling of nursing homes during the coronavirus pandemic.

The group Voices for Seniors sent a March 19 letter to DiNapoli urging him to make a referral to state Attorney General Letitia James to conduct a joint probe into Cuomo’s undercounting of COVID-19 nursing home deaths — as well as the state Health Department’s order forcing nursing homes to accept recovering COVID-19 patients, and the law shielding medical facilities from malpractice suits during the pandemic.

“Where is Tom DiNapoli? Silence is consent,” said Voices for Seniors co-founder Vivian Zayas, whose mom, Ana Martinez, died from COVID-19 that she contracted while in a Long Island nursing home last year.

Zayas said DiNapoli and Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie (D-Bronx), who directed that body’s judiciary committee to launch an impeachment investigation of Cuomo, are “slow-walking everything.”

Zayas complained that the nursing home scandals are not getting the attention given to the sexual harassment allegations that women have leveled against Cuomo. AG James is investigating the sexual harassment claims.

“I sympathize with them,” Zayas said of the accusers. “But they didn’t die.”

Assemblyman Kim (D-Queens) chimed in: “What good is being the chief auditor of the state of New York if you’re not going to hold the executive accountable.”

Kim, who accused Cuomo of threatening to destroy his career during a phone call, said the governor should be impeached over the nursing home scandals and sexual harassment claims. Cuomo denied he threatened Kim.

The lawmaker said what’s baffling is that Cuomo has used his powers over the years to limit DiNapoli’s office ability to audit state projects.

“DiNapoli should absolutely push back now. So many nursing home residents died,” said Kim.

More than 15,000 residents of nursing homes and other facilities for the aged were killed by COVID-19.

DiNapoli’s office insisted a decision on the request to probe Cuomo is in the works.

“We know the families are concerned. We expect to have a decision soon,” said Jennifer Freeman, a spokesman for the comptroller.

The advocates urged DiNapoli to make a “referral” to Attorney General Letitia James under Section 63(3) of the state’s Executive Law.

The move would permit DiNapoli and James to “use both the audit power of the comptroller’s office and the investigatory and enforcement power of the attorney general” to probe nursing homes.

In the letter, Voices for Seniors also asked, “Who wrote Governor Cuomo’s ‘book’ [American Crisis: Leadership Lessons from the COVID-19 Pandemic] and did they do so on the state’s dime? Are there communications between the governor and the publisher that establish a profit motive for the coverup? If so, can the state re-capture the $1M advance that the governor reportedly received or any other profits from the sales?”

Cuomo has denied wrongdoing in his administration’s handling of nursing homes, though the Justice Department and the US Attorney’s Office in Brooklyn are looking into the decisions, including claims of hiding the true COVID death tally of nursing home residents from authorities.

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Suspect arrested in fatal Brooklyn stabbing

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Police have apprehended a suspect in the fatal December stabbing of a Brooklyn man, cops said on Saturday.

The suspect, John Headley, 32, also of Brooklyn, was taken into custody Friday and charged with murder and weapons possession for the Dec. 12 knifing of Ken Baird, 37, police said.

Baird was stabbed multiple times in the chest following a dispute on Crown Street near Utica Avenue in Crown Heights at about 6:40 p.m., police said.

EMS transported Baird to King County Hospital, where he was pronounced dead, cops said.

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Man dies after jumping from Staten Island Ferry

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A 53-year-old man died Saturday after jumping from the Staten Island Ferry into the chilly waters of New York Harbor, police said.

NYPD Harbor launch officers pulled the man out of the water after responding to reports of a jumper near the Whitehall Ferry Terminal in Manhattan at around 2 p.m.

“He jumped off the ferry as it pulled away from the dock,” an NYPD spokesman told The Post. He jumped off the Ferryboat Andrew J. Barberi, police said.

The unidentified victim was removed to Pier 11 and transported to New York-Presbyterian Hospital, where he was pronounced dead shortly after 3:10 p.m.

A newsstand worker said there were “about 50 or so emergency people” at Pier 11 following a valiant effort — which included CPR — to save the man’s life.

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An NYPD spokesman says the 53-year-old man “jumped off the ferry as it pulled away from the dock.”

Michael Dalton

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The 53-year-old man was transported to New York-Presbyterian Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

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Kemp Lashes M.L.B. as Republicans Defend Georgia’s Voting Law

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Mr. Kemp, who is gearing up to run for re-election in 2022, has striven to re-enter the good graces of Republican voters after becoming a central political target of former President Donald J. Trump because of his refusal to help Mr. Trump overturn the state’s election results last year. A former secretary of state of Georgia who has his own record of decisions that made voting harder for the state’s residents, he is again a key G.O.P. voice leading the charge on the issue.

On Saturday, he repeatedly tried to paint the league’s decision as driven by Stacey Abrams, the voting rights advocate and former Democratic candidate for governor in Georgia who is seen as likely to challenge Mr. Kemp again next year.

Ms. Abrams, one of the most prominent critics of Georgia’s voting law, has pushed back on calls for sports leagues and corporations to boycott the state. She said on Friday that she was “disappointed” baseball officials had pulled the All-Star Game but that she was “proud of their stance on voting rights.”

In defending the law in Georgia, Mr. Kemp singled out two Democratically controlled states, New York and Delaware, and compared their voting regulations with the new law in Georgia. Those states do not offer as many options for early voting as Georgia does, but they have also not passed new laws instituting restrictions on voting.

“In New York, they have 10 days of early voting,” Mr. Kemp said (New York actually has nine). “In Georgia, we have a minimum of 17, with two additional Sundays that are optional in our state. In New York, you have to have an excuse to vote absentee. In Georgia, you can vote absentee for any reason.”

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