FBI is reportedly probing hiring practice at New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo's office

  • The FBI is investigating the administration of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo over its practice of hiring employees who are paid by other state agencies, the Times Union reported.
  • The New York newspaper reported that several employees who work in the governor's office had been interviewed by law enforcement agents working for the bureau in recent months.
  • Cuomo, a Democrat known for his centrist approach to governing, is often mentioned as a potential candidate for president.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo.
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New York Governor Andrew Cuomo.

The FBI is investigating New York Governor Andrew Cuomo's practice of hiring employees to work in the governor's office who are paid by other state agencies, the Times Union reported Friday.

The Albany, N.Y., newspaper reported that several employees who work in the governor's office had been interviewed by law enforcement agents working for the bureau in recent months.

Staffing up the governor's office with employees paid by other agencies allows the administration to bulk up its personnel without facing political heat for increasing its budget. The practice is commonplace in New York and other states, as well as in the federal government.

Former New York governors, including Cuomo's father, Mario Cuomo, also employed staff who weren't on their payroll. The Times Union said that the practice is "particularly widespread" under the current administration.

A year ago, the paper found that 40 percent of the Executive Chamber staff were actually paid by other agencies.

Cuomo, a Democrat known for his centrist approach to governing, is often mentioned as a potential candidate for president.

Cuomo spokesman Rich Azzopardi told CNBC the FBI's line of questioning was "absurd."

"In this environment, anyone can ask about anything, but the fact is the longstanding practice of detailing staff from Agencies to work in the Executive Chamber dates back over 50 years to at least the Rockefeller administration and extends to the White House and the federal Department of Justice," he said.

Read the full article at the Times Union.