Former New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has been ordered by a New York state ethics commission to forfeit the $5.1 million he made from a book celebrating his handling of the coronavirus pandemic.
Cuomo has been given 30 days by the Joint Commission on Public Ethics, known as JCOPE, to pay the state attorney general’s office the amount equal to what he had been paid for the book titled, “American Crisis: Leadership Lessons from the COVID-19 Pandemic.”
The panel’s vote was 12-1.
The move comes roughly one month after the same board had voted to rescind authorization for the disgraced ex-Governor to write the book.
Former Governor Andrew Cuomo must repay the more than $5 million in compensation he received for his 2020 book, an ethics panel decides https://t.co/of4OtwKVwe
— Bloomberg (@business) December 14, 2021
Cuomo Must Pay Back Money Made On Book Deal
The ethics commission has been going after the Cuomo book deal due to “material omissions and misrepresentations” made in applying for approval to write the celebratory memoir.
Those misrepresentations center on Cuomo’s alleged use of state personnel and resources to write and edit the book.
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According to the Associated Press, Cuomo “agreed to not use any state personnel or resources to produce his book” and that he would write it “entirely on his own time.”
A JCOPE report from last month indicates staff for the former Governor worked extensively on the book.
“Our investigation evidences that the book was the product of significant work performed by executive chamber staff during a time of a global pandemic requiring an around-the-clock response,” the committee report said.
Every penny of these ill-gotten gains should be directed to a victims fund for the families who tragically lost loved ones in long-term care facilities because of Cuomo’s negligent pandemic policies. https://t.co/NnUAAXg1nW
— Congresswoman Tenney (@RepTenney) December 14, 2021
“Certain senior members of the former governor’s executive chamber and other senior New York State officials worked extensively on the book,” the report added.
“Officials attended meetings with agents and publishers, transcribed and drafted portions of the book, coordinated the production and promotion of the book, and participated in working sessions to review and finalize the book.”
A lawyer for the governor has said the board’s decision forcing Cuomo to pay back his book funds was “unconstitutional” and “driven by political interests.”
His top aide Rich Azzopardi called JCOPE’s decision “political hypocrisy and duplicity at its worst.”
BREAKING NEWS: Former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has been ordered to return the $5.1 million of profits from his pandemic book. pic.twitter.com/McFwfRTTKL
— Newsmax (@newsmax) December 14, 2021
Still No Punishment For Nursing Home Deaths
To add a little perspective – The ethics board is forcing Cuomo to pay back the profits because he wrote the book under false pretenses.
Those pretenses involve him lying about not using state personnel or resources to write the book.
Not the false pretenses involved in claiming to be a genius handling the pandemic while actually being responsible for the deaths of thousands of seniors.
Cashing in to the tune of millions while his aides covered up deaths caused in part by his corruption and botched handling. As low as it gets. https://t.co/Wesj6vNb0q
— Krystal Ball (@krystalball) April 1, 2021
In March, the Wall Street Journal published a report indicating advisers to Cuomo “successfully pushed state health officials to strip a public report of data showing that more nursing-home residents had died of Covid-19 than the administration had acknowledged.”
“The revisions occurred as the governor was on the brink of a huge payoff,” they added.
Why did they make those revisions?
Because Cuomo had famously issued an executive order forcing nursing home facilities to take in COVID-positive patients. And that fact wouldn’t have made for good reading.
I hope this sinks in for all the journalists who gushed about just how great a job Andrew Cuomo did with Covid. | Cuomo nursing home order did cause more deaths, should’ve been reversed sooner: task force https://t.co/49YhKG6k7J
— Scott Whitlock (@ScottJW) June 15, 2021
Cuomo’s effort to force nursing homes to take on patients infected with COVID and then cover it up was so beyond the pale that mob boss Sammy ‘The Bull’ Gravano blasted him saying it’s a move he “would never do” and “I’m a badass.”
“I hate to get into Gov. Cuomo. I will a little bit because he’s Italian and I can’t stand it,” Gravano said in a recently released interview.
“One, because he’s Italian and I’m embarrassed to have someone do what he did as an Italian,” The Bull continued. “He killed 15,000 people by putting people with the coronavirus in [nursing homes] with old people.”
To this day, Cuomo has never paid for or been punished over his role in those deaths, or the fact that he actively hid the truth from the media and the Justice Department.
It is by far his worst scandal.
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