U.S. prosecutors say they found the New York State Environmental Facilities Corporation had falsely certified that several people were working at the state agency in support of a federal water-quality improvement grant and being paid for that job when they were actually doing unrelated work for former New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s office.

Image: ny.gov (file)
Image: ny.gov (file)

The U.S. Attorney’s office says one person getting EFC salary and benefits was hired by the Executive Chamber to work on Cuomo’s advance team while another was hired to help run the former Governor’s Washington D.C. office.

In the settlement agreement, EFC admitted that former senior department officials caused the state to include in federal funding requests part of the salaries and benefits for the individuals in question without revealing they were hired by, and worked for, the Executive Chamber.

EFC is a benefit corporation that provides funding and technical assistance to municipalities, businesses and state agencies for environmental and public health projects in New York State.

The Executive Chamber, of course, is in place to assist the Governor in coordination of state business and duties.

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Prosecutors say as part of the settlement, the EFC admitted that during the fiscal years 2009 through 2019, senior Executive Chamber staff asked the now-former senior department officials to pay the salaries and benefits of those employees who had actually been hired to work in the Executive Chamber on eight occasions.  The EFC submitted the certifications to the Environmental Protection Agency and falsely represented that the costs of the employees bore a “beneficial or causal relationship to the Clean Water State Revolving Fund grants."

In the settlement, the Environmental Facilities Corporation admitted it never informed the EPA that those individuals were working for the Executive Chamber, assisting former Governor Cuomo.

The EFC has agreed to pay $500,000 to resolve the allegations.

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