After a 12-1 vote of the Joint Commission on Public Ethics, Ex-New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is ordered to return the money he earned from his book during the COVID-19 epidemic.
After a watchdog ethics panel found that Cuomo had violated promises not to use state resources and government staff to prepare the project, Cuomo must return $5.1 million to the state. Commissioner David McNamara drafted the resolution. McNamara stated that Cuomo now has no legal authority to conduct outside activities and to receive compensation for the book.
Cuomo’s book was widely criticized when it was published in October 2020. It seemed like the Dem governor was taking credit for his sterling leadership, even though the pandemic was still raging throughout NY.
At the outbreak of the pandemic, Cuomo received a lot of media attention, with President Biden referring to his leadership as the gold standard in leadership. Former staffers made several accusations against Cuomo of sexual harassment. He was found to have sexually harassed at most 11 women between 2013 and 2020.
Letitia James, New York Attorney General, is investigating Cuomo’s book deals. A number of prominent New Yorkers and legislators who have spoken out against Cuomo during his numerous scandals stated that this was a positive first step towards accountability.
Cuomo was also implicated in the scandal involving his little brother Chris. Documents showed that he was an unofficial advisor to his brother and used his media influence to try to find dirt on the accusers. He spied on journalists’ reports about the scandal. After these revelations, CNN fired Chris Cuomo. It also discovered that he had filed a second allegation of sexual harassment against him. This was a result of an accusation by Shelley Ross, a former ABC colleague. Chris Cuomo has also had problems after HarperCollins canceled his book deal in the wake of CNN scandals.