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Silence at Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s jibe to Sen. John Flanagan

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, talks to Senate

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, talks to Senate Minority leader John Flanagan, at the Center of Excellence in Wireless and Information Technology in Stony Brook on Thursday, Feb. 18, 2016, where the governor addressed the groundwater on Long Island. Credit: James Carbone

It was a tough room. Gov. Andrew Cuomo was visiting Stony Brook University Thursday to announce plans for a big study on the quality of Long Island’s drinking water supply. He joked with Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan (R-East Northport) that the federal government might think the state is overreaching into its jurisdiction, but that the state would do the study anyway. Then Cuomo, in a room full of legislators on edge over continuing intense scrutiny by federal prosecutors, turned to Flanagan and quipped: “If somebody has to go to federal prison, John, it’s not going to be me.”

The room was so quiet, you could have heard a subpoena drop.

Michael Gormley

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