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Hochul’s office extends workplace misconduct contract with law firm

ALBANY — Gov. Kathy Hochul’s administration is extending a contract with an exterior law firm for a year to continue enabling Govt Chamber employees to have accessibility to private authorized counsel for any likely grievances involving illegal place of work discrimination, harassment or retaliation.  

The original contract with the regulation agency ran from Oct to June and was valued up to $150,000, in accordance to a copy received by the Instances Union. Hochul’s business office mentioned it has asked for to prolong the contract with the Calcagni & Kanefsky to subsequent June. 

The agency stays available to chamber employees, a spokeswoman for the administration mentioned. 

There is no indication that any payments were produced to the company for the duration of the to start with 8 months of its contract, in accordance to condition comptroller’s workplace documents.

Hochul pledged right after being sworn in as governor past year that it was a “new working day” in Albany. 

“The new steps we are employing in the Executive Chamber and throughout point out authorities mark a significant action ahead in guaranteeing New Yorkers get the leadership they are entitled to from general public servants at the best concentrations,” Hochul said in Oct while asserting her administration’s anti-harassment and anti-discrimination policies.


The steps ended up put in put, in portion, in response to the sexual harassment allegations that experienced engulfed previous Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and led to his resignation in August.

Among a host of revised procedures and strategies, chamber staff were being informed how to file a complaint working with the New Jersey-primarily based legislation business, whose attorneys consist of previous prosecutors. 

“In purchase to assure that workforce of the chamber really feel assured about the independence and fairness of any investigation executed in reaction to a complaint filed by an personnel of the chamber, the chamber necessitates an unbiased exterior entity to offer investigative companies to assist this initiative,” the agreement reads. 

Whilst there is no indicator the agency has presented any legal companies, the state proceeds to be on the hook for thousands and thousands of bucks in other prices connected with sexual harassment and place of work difficulties all through the Cuomo administration. 

Considering the fact that Hochul arrived into workplace, the Govt Chamber has had to submit payments of somewhere around $9.4 million to attorneys representing the administration in response to issues that transpired during Cuomo’s time in place of work. Law corporations typically can acquire time to ask for payments for by now concluded operate.

The administration’s lawful charges linked with investigations by the condition legal professional general’s place of work and the Assembly has been about $4.9 million. A different deal, specific to the lawyer general’s place of work hunting into sexual harassment allegations, has price $920,000.  

The administration’s authorized prices related with the Justice Department’s investigations of the state’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, together with fatalities in nursing homes, and Cuomo’s guide about his administration’s early response to the pandemic, has so far cost the condition $3.5 million underneath two contracts.