Justice Dept. won't open civil rights investigation into NY nursing home COVID-19 response
The Justice Department says it will not be conducting a civil rights probe into New York's nursing homes during the pandemic, according to a letter sent to several Republican members of Congress.
More than 15,800 people died in nursing homes and assisted living facilities around the state amid the COVID-19 crisis.
Bennett Gershman, a law professor at Pace University, says that the department concluded that "no foul play" happened. The DOJ Civil Rights Division was probing New York's March 2020 order that required nursing homes to accept those previously hospitalized for COVID-19.
"'Was this decision wrongful and a violation of civil rights?’ In a nutshell, that's what I think is going on here, and the Justice Department concluded there was no wrongdoing, and therefore they decided not to pursue this investigation," Gershman says.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo is still under investigation by federal prosecutors for allegedly manipulating numbers related to public nursing home deaths.
News 12 reached out to the governor's office for comment.