The deposed governor was ordered to turn over the revenue from American Crisis : Leadership Lessons from the COVID-19 Pandemic (American crisis: Leadership lessons from the COVID-19 pandemic) within 30 days, according to several American media, including the New York Times and Associated Press.
The book was published in October 2020, two months before Andrew Cuomo was forced to resign over multiple allegations of sexual misconduct.
The resolution of the Joint Committee on Public Ethics, adopted by 12 votes to 1, directs him to return the sum to the state attorney general’s office and authorizes the office to enforce the recovery.
Criticizing the decision, an attorney for Andrew Cuomo has promised to challenge it.
The actions [du comité] posed today are unconstitutional, beyond its own authority, and appear to be motivated by political interests rather than fact and law, said Jim McGuire.
If they seek to enforce this action, we will see them in court.
The committee’s order comes in the wake of its decision, taken a month ago, to rescind the ethics approval it had given to Mr. Cuomo before he signed the contract for the publication of his book.
With his daily press briefings to take stock of the situation, the former governor had imposed himself on the national scene at the start of the pandemic, offering a marked contrast with the former President Donald Trump, who trivialized the coronavirus and disputed the facts put forward by federal public health experts.
Andrew Cuomo even asked the former White House tenant to listen to science and help his state deal with the crisis. He had emerged as a reassuring figure taking the crisis seriously, even though his state was at the epicenter of the pandemic.
However, it was later revealed that his administration had publicly downplayed the number of deaths attributable to COVID-19, excluding, for example, deaths occurring at home or in prisons.
Cuomo employees allegedly helped him during their work
The committee approved the deal in July 2020, after receiving assurances from the politician’s lawyer that the politician would not use state personnel or resources to write his book and that he would do so. ‘would write
entirely on his free time.
Complaints that state property, resources as well as personnel were used to prepare, write, edit and publish the book subsequently emerged, however.
Mr Cuomo admitted that state employees helped him with certain tasks, such as editing the manuscript, but claimed they did so on a voluntary basis.
A separate investigation by the state legislature, released last month, found that the ex-governor had asked his staff to devote a lot of time to the project.
Staff members told investigators that they were asked to perform book-related tasks during their work day, such as transcribing dictated sentences, printing and delivering documents, and attending meetings with editors. A senior state official sent and received 1,000 emails about the book, according to the report.
The committee’s injunction, likely to result in a lengthy legal battle, could be complicated by the fact that Mr. Cuomo has already donated $ 500,000 from the book’s proceeds to charity and placed another million in a trust for his daughters.