A New York state ethics commission voted overwhelmingly to rescind approval of former Governor Andrew Cuomo’s $5.1 million book deal.
The panel voted 12-1 Tuesday to rescind approval due to “material omissions and misrepresentations” about the book deal.
Those misrepresentations center on Cuomo’s alleged use of state personnel and resources to write and edit “American Crisis: Leadership Lessons from the COVID-19 Pandemic,” a book that prematurely celebrated the governor’s handling of the pandemic.
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.”
The disgraced Democrat has been accused of having aides write and edit portions of the book using state resources.
A New York Times report in March revealed Cuomo allegedly had top aides write significant portions of his multi-million dollar book, possibly using state resources.
“Mr. Cuomo also utilized the resources of his office — from his inner circle to far more junior personnel — to help with the manuscript,” they claimed.
The Times noted that a review of emails and an early draft indicate Cuomo had been “relying on a cadre of trusted aides and junior staffers for everything from full-scale edits to minor clerical work” to aid in producing the manuscript.
They suggested such actions may have been “potentially running afoul of state laws prohibiting use of public resources for personal gain.”
Aides helped sell a book about leadership during a pandemic in other underhanded ways as well.
Actively working to suppress the number of deaths in nursing homes at the hands of the governor’s own executive order, for example.
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.
It’s rather remarkable that the deaths of thousands of elderly people in New York state has consistently taken a back seat to Cuomo’s other scandals – multiple sexual harassment claims which ultimately led to his resignation, and now the book deal.
There is more than just tangential evidence that the former governor’s actions led to numerous deaths.
In June, the New York State Bar Association Task Force on Nursing Homes and Long-Term Care determined that Cuomo’s executive order policy forcing nursing homes to take on COVID-positive patients indeed led to more deaths.
They defined the directive as “unreasonable” in both its “absoluteness” and the length of time it was left in effect.
While they were unable to put a particular number on that effect, the task force was able to determine “there are credible reviews that suggest that the directive, for the approximately six weeks that it was in effect, did lead to some number of additional deaths.”
Fox News meteorologist and author Janice Dean noted the absurdity of priorities for those investigating Cuomo’s actions.
She tweeted an article on Cuomo’s book deal approval being rescinded which referred to it as “more justice” for the Democrat.
“No justice until we investigate his role in the deadly nursing home tragedy and the coverup,” she insisted.
Dean’s in-laws were the unfortunate victims of COVID-19, where nursing homes in New York played a significant part.
Dean also shared a Tweet from state Assemblyman Ron Kim regarding the book scandal.
“In order for Andrew Cuomo to deliver on his $5.1M mega book deal, he needed to make the NYT best seller list, sell at least 200K books, and go on a global book tour,” Kim accused.
“He was blinded by the $$$ and ordered his state health agency to cover up the nursing home death toll.”
Meanwhile, Governor Kathy Hochul who replaced Cuomo following his resignation, has continued the cover-up of the state’s pandemic response saying any further investigation is unwarranted.
Richard Azzopardi, a senior adviser to Cuomo, has defended his boss’s book deal, saying any work done was done because employees were “volunteering” their time.
He blasted the New York state ethics commission’s move to rescind approval for the book deal as politically motivated.
“These JCOPE members are acting outside the scope of their authority,” Azzopardi said in a statement.
“It is the height of hypocrisy … given that these elected officials routinely use their own staff for political and personal assistance on their own time.”
He then reportedly wiped away the crumbs from a cookie that Cuomo had thrown him for being a very good boy.
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