Ex-state health commissioner charged

May 12, 2009 8:43:42 AM PDT
Former state Health Commissioner Antonia Novello was charged in Albany Tuesday morning with misusing her office and enriching herself during her seven-year tenure as the state's top health official. Novello pleaded not guilty in Albany County Supreme Court to a 20-count indictment, including four felony charges that she defrauded the government.

Her attorney, E. Stewart Jones, blasted prosecutors for bringing criminal charges.

Novello was state health commissioner from 1999 to 2006. She also served as U.S. surgeon general from 1990 to 1993.

In a report in January, the state Inspector General's Office alleged that Novello used state workers to provide personal services for her, including taking her on lavish shopping sprees and requiring workers to rack up about $50,000 in overtime to tend to her.


NEW YORK AND TRI-STATE AREA NEWS

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