ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — A criminal defense attorney says he's been retained by the office of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo as a federal prosecutor threatens to widen an investigation into the Democratic governor's handling of an anti-corruption commission.

Elkan Abramowitz said Thursday he was hired some time ago to represent the governor's office. Cuomo faces questions about whether his administration meddled with the commission.

The New York Times reports that U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara is threatening to investigate Cuomo's office for obstruction or witness tampering for allegedly asking commissioners to speak out about the panel's work.

Cuomo's office acknowledged Thursday having conversations with "relevant parties."

Five commissioners publicly rejected talk of interference on Monday, the same day Cuomo dismissed allegations that an adviser improperly pressured commissioners not to investigate entities linked to Cuomo.