Former Governor Andrew Cuomo’s legal problems are still piling on for the disgraced politician when on Tuesday a New York ethics panel reversed its approval of his $$ lucrative book deal he made last year, a move that could affect Cuomo’s payout.
Personally, I think the ex-governor had a lot of chutzpah writing a book about his leadership in handling the COVID-19 pandemic during the pandemic, and especially because he killed a lot of senior citizens by forcing COVID-infected patients into nursing homes and then his administration tried to hide the data to avoid the US Department of Justice finding out.
The NY Joint Commission on Public Ethics voted 12-1 to remove its July 2020 approval for Cuomo to do the book deal about his response to COVID-19. The book was titled, American Crisis: Leadership Lessons from the COVID-19 Pandemic.
The approval gave Cuomo the okie dokie to get a $5 million book deal with The Crown Publishing Group. We then learned that Cuomo might have already broken the terms of the commission’s approval when he used state resources and staff to help him write it.
Tuesday’s reversal on Tuesday could cause the ethics commission to force Cuomo to give back some of the money he’s already been paid for the book, which made it the New York Times’ Best Seller list prior to his fall from grace prior to him resigning over the sexual harassment scandal in August.
Rich Azzopardi, a spokesman for the former governor, condemned the decision by the Joint Commission on Public Ethics. He said at the time Cuomo’s office made it clear that there was a distinction between use of public resources and his staff volunteering their own time to help him with the book.
“These JCOPE members are acting outside the scope of their authority and are carrying the water of the politicians who appointed them,” Azzopardi charged. Now he knows what it’s like to be a Republican in a Democrat world.
Azzopardi pointed to Cuomo’s replacement, Governor Kathy Hochul and legislative leaders being a bunch of hypocrites “given that these elected officials routinely use their own staff for political and personal assistance on their own time.”
The former governor’s tax return revealed that the publisher already paid him $3.1 million in 2020. He is supposed to be paid a balance of up to $2.15 million this year.
Imaging being paid all that money to write a book of lies.
An attorney for the state Joint Commission on Public Ethics, Martin Levine, wrote the approval for Cuomo’s book back in July 2020. In the approval, he had listed a number of conditions that Cuomo had to follow, like not using state resources or personnel to create the book or to promote it on state time.
It was reported by media outlets that Cuomo did get help from staff and he lauded the book during television interviews from the governor’s mansion, which is state owned. He also held a webinar with a law firm that bought hundreds of copies of the book? Nothing dubious going on there, I’m sure.
It bothers me that Cuomo was taken down by sexual harassment accusations. Not that I think it’s ever okay to sexually harass someone, but he pushed COVID policies that cost thousands of people their lives and he tried to cover that up, so if anything, he should have been removed from office for those violations. But I guess it’s fine, because it did get rid of him and now the people of New York are safer without him, even though Hochul seems like a tyrant as well.