Legal Analysis on the Arrest and Resignation of New York Lieutenant Governor Brian Benjamin

Legal Analysis on the Arrest and Resignation of New York Lieutenant Governor Brian Benjamin

New York State Lieutenant Governor Brian Benjamin resigned from his office after being arrested on fraud and bribery charges. WGRZ 2 On Your Side’s coverage on the story included an interview with attorney Barry N. Covert. Mr. Covert provided legal analysis that included: a review of the specific charges Brian Benjamin faces, the potential penalties if Benjamin is found guilty of the charges, and whether circumstances involved in the terms of Brian Benjamin’s bail in this case forced him to resign as New York State’s Lieutenant Governor. WGRZ reports that federal prosecutors accused Brian Benjamin of being part of a campaign finance scheme. The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York outlined the case against Brian Benjamin, which stated that Benjamin accepted campaign contributions from a real estate developer in exchange for a state grant that was given to that business. In their report, WGRZ quoted Barry Covert as...

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Legal Analysis of Recent Court Rulings on New York State Mask Mandate

January 28, 2022  |  APPEALS, Coronavirus COVID-19, IN THE NEWS  |  Share
Legal Analysis of Recent Court Rulings on New York State Mask Mandate

This week, there have been multiple court rulings regarding New York State’s mask mandate. The first ruling was issued by a State Supreme Court judge on Monday, January 24th; the second ruling was issued by a State Appellate Court judge on Tuesday, January 25th; and oral arguments are scheduled to be made before the full Second Department of the New York State of Appeals on Friday, January 28th. Various media outlets asked attorney Barry N. Covert provide legal analysis on the series of court rulings regarding New York State’s mask mandate. Mr. Covert’s analysis addressed several topics, including: The current status and potential future of New York State’s mask mandate; Impact recent court rulings have on Erie County’s mask mandate; and School districts’ ability to institute their own mask mandates, independent of state and local government? Mask Mandate Executive Order Early in the COVID-19 pandemic, then Governor Andrew Cuomo was granted emergency powers by the New...

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Legal Analysis of Gov. Hochul’s Enforcement of New York State’s HERO Act

September 10, 2021  |  IN THE NEWS  |  Share
Legal Analysis of Gov. Hochul’s Enforcement of New York State’s HERO Act

New York State Governor Kathy Hochul recently signed a directive that requires businesses in New York State to implement specific workplace safety plans. This directive enforces regulations set forth in the New York Health and Essential Rights Act, also known as the HERO Act. The HERO Act was put in place in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. WGRZ 2 On Your Side anchor Scott Levin recently interviewed attorney Barry N. Covert to provide legal analysis regarding enforcement of New York State’s HERO Act. During the interview, Mr. Covert discussed the potential implications the HERO Act will have on New York State businesses, the liability the HERO Act may create for employers, and the possibility of a legal challenge to the HERO Act. Continuing reading for portions of Barry Covert’s comments and click the video below to watch the full interview with WGRZ’s Scott Levin. What are the implications of Gov. Hochul’s announcement on...

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Legal Analysis of Federal Court Ruling in Buffalo Mayoral Election Ballot Case

September 10, 2021  |  IN THE NEWS  |  Share
Legal Analysis of Federal Court Ruling in Buffalo Mayoral Election Ballot Case

A federal court judge recently ruled that Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown will appear on the ballot for the upcoming mayoral election on the Buffalo Party Line. Attorney Barry N. Covert visited WIVB News 4’s studio for an interview with anchor Melanie Orlins. In the interview, Mr. Covert to provided legal analysis on the latest development in the Buffalo mayoral race. Continuing reading for portions of Barry Covert’s comments and click the video below to watch the full interview with WIVB’s Melanie Orlins. What was your first reaction to Judge Sinatra’s decision and do you think that there was a conflict of interest with his brother, of course, being a Buffalo developer and a longtime supporter of Mayor Brown? BNC: I’m taking that question first. The judges, especially federal court judges, take the ethical issues very seriously when it comes to whether they have a conflict and can stay on the case and can’t....

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Legal Analysis of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Resignation Announcement

August 11, 2021  |  CRIMINAL, IN THE NEWS  |  Share
Legal Analysis of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Resignation Announcement

New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo announced his resignation in response to an investigation into a series of sexual harassment accusations made against him. WIVB News 4 anchors Jacquie Walker and Don Postles interviewed attorney Barry N. Covert to provide legal analysis of the governor’s resignation announcement. In the WIVB interview, Barry Covert discusses: the timing of Governor Cuomo’s resignation; the impact the resignation may have on Governor Cuomo’s accusers; the criminal cases Governor Cuomo is still facing; the financial implications the charges and investigations have on taxpayers; and the potential for future investigations. Continuing reading for portions of Barry Covert’s comments and click the video below to watch the full interview from WIVB. What was your reaction when you heard the announcement of the governor’s resignation today? BNC: This was certainly a lot faster than I thought he would resign. It really peaks my interest as to why he picked today and now to resign as opposed to waiting...

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Legal Analysis of CBS Interview with Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Accuser and the Resignation of Melissa DeRosa

August 9, 2021  |  CRIMINAL, IN THE NEWS  |  Share

The New York State Assembly’s Judiciary Committee met behind closed doors today to discuss the recent sexual harassment report from Attorney General Letitia James and review the next steps in the process of a potential impeachment of Governor Andrew Cuomo. Following the Judiciary Committee’s meeting, New York Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie and Judiciary Committee Chair Charles Levine held a press conference to discuss the impeachment probe as well as the timeline to potentially move forward with impeachment. WIVB News 4’s coverage of the sexual harassment investigation into New York Governor Andrew Cuomo continued with anchor Jacquie Walker interviewing attorney Barry Covert. In their interview, Mr. Covert weighs in on the timeline for the state legislature’s investigation into Gov. Andrew Cuomo, the impact of the CBS interview with “Executive Assistant #1”, and the potential impact of Melissa DeRosa’s resignation from the governor’s office. Continuing reading for portions of Barry Covert’s comments and click the...

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Legal Analysis on New York State Impeachment Process

August 6, 2021  |  IN THE NEWS  |  Share
Legal Analysis on New York State Impeachment Process

New York State’s Attorney General, Letitia James, recently held a press conference to announce the findings of a sexual harassment investigation into Governor Andrew Cuomo. The Attorney General appointed independent investigators who released a 168-page report, which details that Governor Cuomo did sexually harass state employees. As a result of the report, some believe an impeachment investigation is forthcoming. As part of their ongoing coverage of the sexual harassment investigation, WGRZ 2 On Your Side recently aired a report addressing what is involved in New York’s impeachment process of a governor. WGRZ reporter Leanne Stuck interview attorney Barry Covert to provide legal analysis and insight into New York State’s impeachment process. During the interview, Mr. Covert state “The assembly would have to introduce and pass by a majority so 76 out of 150 members of the assembly would have to pass an impeachment resolution, very similar to the federal system.” Mr. Covert went on...

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Legal Analysis of Employer Mandates for Coronavirus Vaccinations

July 30, 2021  |  IN THE NEWS  |  Share
Legal Analysis of Employer Mandates for Coronavirus Vaccinations

President Joe Biden recently announced new COVID-19 pandemic requirements for all federal workers.  In an effort to increase vaccination rates, federal workers will be required to attest that they have been vaccinated against the coronavirus or comply with mandatory requirements involving masking, testing, and social distancing. WIVB News 4 recently aired a report on the new vaccine requirements for federal employees. As part of their ongoing coverage of the coronavirus and vaccine debate, WIVB anchor Jacquie Walker spoke with attorney Barry N. Covert. In their interview, Jacquie Walker asks Barry Covert to address the legality of a vaccine mandate for federal employees, the applicability of a vaccine mandate in the private sector, and the possibility of a federal vaccine mandate for all citizens of the United States. Continuing reading for portions of the Barry Covert’s comments and click the video below to watch the full conversation. Can the federal government require its employees to be...

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Media Reports on Vandalized Black Lives Matter Banner at East Aurora Church

April 20, 2021  |  IN THE NEWS  |  Share

Attorney Barry Covert provided comment to WGRZ 2 On Your Side for a story regarding a Black Lives Matter banner that was recently vandalized. The banner was displayed outside of the Unitarian Universalist Church of East Aurora. Mr. Covert represented the Unitarian Universalist Church in a previous First Amendment and Zoning Law dispute with the Village of East Aurora regarding the Black Lives Matter banner. That matter resulted in the Unitarian Universalist Church winning variances from the Village of East Aurora’s Zoning Board of Appeals, which allowed the church display the Black Lives Matter banner along with other existing signage the church had on display. Regarding the recent vandalism of the banner, Mr. Covert stated to WGRZ “To have a church have a simple sign that says Black Lives Matter, come and pray with us, and that is deemed to be offensive to anyone in the community, is surprising to me.” Click the video below for WGRZ’s full story, including comments from Barry Covert.

Legal Analysis of Potentially Criminal Allegations Made Against New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo

March 18, 2021  |  CRIMINAL, IN THE NEWS  |  Share
Legal Analysis of Potentially Criminal Allegations Made Against New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo

News outlets across New York State have reported extensively on the allegations of sexual harassment made against Governor Andrew Cuomo. When a sixth accuser came forward with misconduct accusations against Governor Cuomo, the reporting shifted from alleged sexual harassment to alleged assault. WGRZ 2 On Your Side’s ongoing coverage of allegations against the governor continued with a “Town Hall” segment hosted by anchors Michael Wooten and Kate Welshofer. Attorney Barry Covert was interviewed for the segment to provide legal analysis on the latest developments in the accusations made against Governor Andrew Cuomo. WGRZ’s Town Hall segment focused on how the accusations made by Governor Cuomo’s sixth accuser differ from previous accusations. Attorney Barry Covert was asked to address several legal topics in this matter, including: why the latest accusation may rise to the level of a criminal offense; if law enforcement need the accuser to cooperate in an investigation; and what impact...

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