Cuomo campaign will pay for Moreland attorney

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New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, center left, is

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, center left, is surrounded by the media in Freeport, where he was visiting a homeowner still rebuilding from superstorm Sandy, Wednesday, July 30, 2014. Photo Credit: AP / Frank Eltman

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Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo will use campaign funds to pay a criminal defense lawyer to represent the governor’s office in the Moreland Commission probe, an aide said Friday.

On Thursday, well-known criminal defense lawyer Elkan Abramowitz confirmed he was retained “a while ago” to represent the Cuomo administration as U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara threatened to widen an investigation into the governor’s handling of an anti-corruption commission.

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Abramowitz said he agreed to step in because Cuomo’s counsel, Mylan Denerstein, could be a witness.

On Friday, a state budget division spokesman said although Abramowitz could be paid out of state funds “the governor’s campaign will pay for the lawyer acting as executive chamber counsel to avoid any cost to taxpayers.”

Cuomo's latest campaign finance report, filed July 15, showed no money going out yet to Abramowitz or his firm.

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