New York Governor Andrew Cuomo speaks at a press conference in his New York City office on March 24, 2021.
Bren Dank Demead | Swimming Pool | Getty Images
On Tuesday, the New York State Ethics Commission ordered the disgraceful former Governor Andrew Cuomo to repay the more than $5 million he received to write a book on his handling of the new coronavirus pandemic.
Cuomo’s lawyer immediately vowed to fight the repayment request.
The order was issued one month after the Joint Committee on Public Ethics took preliminary steps to cancel the approval of Cuomo’s book “American Crisis: Leadership Lessons from the Covid-19 Pandemic.”
Among other reasons for the withdrawal of approval, JCOPE cited Cuomo’s lawyers’ misleading statement that no New York government employee would help write this book.
In fact, investigators discovered that when Cuomo’s lawyers made a promise last year, government officials were assisting Cuomo with the project.
“Contrary to the statement made on behalf of Governor Cuomo and disclosed to the committee, state property, resources and personnel, including staff volunteers, were used for the preparation, writing, editing, and publication of this book,” JCOPE said in a statement. A resolution last month.
The board of directors also cited the fact that JCOPE had refused to provide JCOPE with a book contract before approval.
In a statement on Tuesday, Cuomo’s lawyer Jim McGuire said, “JCOPE’s actions today are unconstitutional, surpassing its own authority, and seem to be driven by political interests rather than facts and laws.”
“If they seek to enforce this action, we will see them in court,” McGuire added.
JCOPE’s order for Cuomo to repay the money is complicated by whether the Ethics Committee has the power to make such a request. According to Cuomo’s spokesperson, he has donated US$500,000 to the United Way Charity Foundation of New York State and invested US$1 million in compensation into the trust fund of his three daughters. The situation becomes complicated.
Faced with a severe report from the state attorney general’s office, Cuomo resigned in August. The report concluded that the three-term Democrat sexually harassed nearly a dozen women and his staff tried to discredit some of the accusers.
Cuomo denied any wrongdoing, but faced multiple criminal investigations due to his alleged behavior.
Cuomo won an agreement to write the book for the imprint of the publisher Penguin Random House in 2020. At the time, he was widely praised for managing the coronavirus outbreak in New York.
Since then, his handling of the crisis has become less popular, especially after his government disclosed data on the deaths of residents of Covid nursing homes.
Last week, a department of HarperCollins Publishing cancelled plans to publish Cuomo’s brother Chris Cuomo’s book “Deep Denial” next year.
According to documents released by Attorney General Letitia James, CNN fired Chris Cuomo earlier this month after he shared and discussed passing negative information about women during discussions with Andrew Cuomo’s staff. The host of primetime shows on CNN. Accused his brother of harassment.
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