Former New York health commissioner Antonia Novello has been charged with defrauding the government by using state employees for personal business. She has pleaded not guilty. This, you may remember, was how they got former controller Alan Hevesi, but at least he was having state drivers chauffeur around his invalid wife; Novello is charged with having her taxpayer-funded underlings “drive her around on shopping sprees, run personal errands for her, and even act as house servants,” says the Daily News. Earlier this year a state inspector general’s report said she had a fraud inspector take her Macy’s and Saks, and ordered a security guard to move a statue of Buddha into her apartment. The reports says she also had state employees drive her mom around.
Novello’s lawyer says it’s a frame: “there are people who are vindictive and who’ve wanted to get her ever since she left the state.” Novello served as Surgeon General under the first George Bush in the early 90s, and was New York health commissioner from 1999 to 2006. She most recently served as an executive at Disney Children’s Hospital in Orlando. Photo via allposters.