NY investigates former emergency management chief
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ALBANY - The state inspector general is investigating New York's former emergency management chief over a lucrative state contract held by his wife's firm.
Steve Kuhr, an East Northport resident, was fired in November after he allegedly asked Suffolk County workers to clear a tree from his home after superstorm Sandy. Kuhr had headed the Office for Emergency Management for about one year before his dismissal.
The Cuomo administration has canceled a $415,000 contract held by Strategic Emergency Group Llc, a firm led by Kuhr's wife, Terri Kuhr.
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Before taking the state job, Steve Kuhr owned a minority share of the company, but told state officials he would divest. At issue now is whether he failed to properly notify anyone that his wife was the company's primary owner.
"As part of his application process, Mr. Kuhr claimed that he was relinquishing all his personal responsibilities and ownership of Strategic Emergency Group," Matt Wing, spokesman for Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, said in an email.
Steve Kuhr declined to comment Sunday and referred questions to his legal team.
"Mr. Kuhr is cooperating completely with New York State and its investigation," said one of his lawyers, Manhattan-based Walter Mack. "He is responding and will respond to each and every question about his ethical conduct."
Terri Kuhr did not respond to requests for comment.
Strategic Emergency Group has provided emergency-management services to several state agencies over the years, according to Jennifer Freeman, spokeswoman for state Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli.
Most recently, the company was awarded a $415,000 contract in 2010 for consulting with the Office For People with Developmental Disabilities. By November 2012, the company had collected $111,612 for that contract, Freeman said.
The agency renewed the contract in November -- about two weeks after Cuomo fired Steve Kuhr -- through September 2014, as first reported by the New York Post. Wing said the administration voided the contract days ago.
"The governor's office immediately canceled the contract with Strategic Emergency Management Group after being made aware of the situation," Wing said. With Emily Ngo