Ex-NYS Health Commissioner sentenced

ALBANY — Former State Health Commissioner, and U.S. Surgeon General, Antonia Novello was sentenced in Albany County Court Friday on charges stemming from her use of state workers to run her personal errands.

Novello was sentenced to perform 250 of community service, most of which has already been completed. She has also already paid back more than $22,000 in restitution to the State. Under a plea deal, she avoided jail time and will keep her medical license.

Novello pleaded guilty to failing to fix inaccurate paperwork at a court appearance in June.

She has admitted that when she was Health Commissioner in 2006, she knowingly let the State pay for a chauffer she should have paid for herself.

Judge Stephen Harrick admonished Novello in court, despite her accomplishments in medicine and government.

“You developed a sense of entitlement, of superiority, and of arrogance,” the Judge said to her.

Speaking out on her legal troubles for the first time, Novello said, “I'm saddened beyond belief that the ones who were able to do this were the ones that I trusted the most. I'm sorry if they perceived that the arrogance was necessary to get the things done, and I am sad that they waited all that time to come forward and try to do damage. I don't think that a career has to be destroyed because someone did not get the job that they wanted upon my departure.

Novello has called the whole experience humbling, and says she has become a changed person.

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