Andrew Cuomo Is Ordered to Relinquish Money He Made From Covid-19 Memoir

From a Wall Street Journal story by Jimmy Vielkind headlined “Andrew Cuomo Is Ordered to Relinquish Money He Made From Covid-19 Memoir”:

ALBANY, N.Y.—New York state’s ethics watchdog passed a resolution Tuesday ordering former Gov. Andrew Cuomo to relinquish millions of dollars he was paid for the memoir he wrote about his handling of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The order gives the Democrat 30 days to give all compensation he received for the book to the state attorney general’s office.

The Joint Commission on Public Ethics approved the publishing contract in July of last year with several conditions, including that “no state property, personnel or other resources may be utilized for activities associated with the book.” The commission revoked its approval last month.

Subsequently, a report by a state Assembly committee that had been considering articles of impeachment against Mr. Cuomo found he required government aides to help produce his pandemic memoir during work hours and recorded its audio version during weekday sessions at the state Executive Mansion.

A lawyer for the former governor said the commission’s actions were politically motivated and exceeded its authority.

“Should they seek to enforce this action, we’ll see them in court,” said the attorney, Jim McGuire.

Previously, a spokesman for Mr. Cuomo said state aides volunteered their time to work on the memoir and any use of state resources was incidental.

The resolution sets up another legal battle for Mr. Cuomo, who resigned in August after Attorney General Letitia James released a report that alleged that he had sexually harassed multiple women, including current and former state employees.

Mr. Cuomo has been charged with forcibly touching Brittany Commisso, an executive assistant, during a 2020 encounter at the Executive Mansion. Mr. Cuomo has said he never touched Ms. Commisso or anybody else inappropriately. He also said Ms. James, a Democrat who subsequently launched and ended a campaign for governor, was politically motivated. Ms. James has denied Mr. Cuomo’s charge.

Mr. Cuomo received about $3.1 million in 2020 related to the October publication of “American Crisis: Leadership Lessons from the Covid-19 Pandemic,” according to tax returns the former governor released earlier this year. Mr. Cuomo donated $500,000 to charity and said he placed $1 million in a trust for his three daughters.

The total value of his contract with Crown, an imprint of Penguin Random House that published the book, was $5.1 million. Neither the former governor nor the publisher have said whether he received the additional $2 million this year. Spokespeople for Crown didn’t immediately return requests for comment.

Ms. James’s office is also reviewing the potential misuse of state resources related to the book, The Wall Street Journal has reported.

Speak Your Mind