Ethics Board Orders Cuomo To Pay Back $ 5.1 Million In Book Profits

In the summer of 2020, Cuomo struck a lucrative seven-figure deal with The Crown Publishing Group to publish a book on his handling of the early days of the COVID pandemic. This resulted in a dissertation entitled American crisis: Leadership lessons from the COVID-19 pandemic, who briefly spent time on the New York Times bestseller list.

But Cuomo has been frequently criticized for using his best employees extensively to help edit the project, including several members of his entourage who spent two weekends at the Executive Mansion alongside a representative from his house of editing.

Last month, the State Assembly Judiciary Committee concluded that Cuomo had “used state property and resources” to draft the briefs. In an impeachment report, committee attorneys wrote that Cuomo was using “the work of Executive House staff, to write, publish and promote his book regarding his handling of the COVID-19 crisis – a project he was guaranteed to be at least $ 5.2 million. in personal profit.

The report found that junior Cuomo employees were also required to devote time to the book during their regular work schedule, and that the book’s work was “not voluntary.”

A senior staff member, meanwhile, served as Cuomo’s point of contact with his editor, sending or receiving more than 1,000 messages about the project, often during working hours, according to the report.

Cuomo spokesperson Rich Azzopardi has repeatedly said that Cuomo’s senior executives work on the book project in their spare time, while any junior work is “incidental.”

Under the JCOPE resolution, Cuomo will be required to repay “an amount equal to the compensation paid to him for his outside book-related activities.”

According to his tax records and financial disclosure forms, Cuomo owed a total of $ 5.1 million under the pound deal. He was paid around $ 3 million in 2020, of which he raised around $ 1.5 million. He gave $ 500,000 to the United Way and put $ 1 million in trust for his daughters.

Crown was due to pay Cuomo the remaining $ 2 million in 2021 and 2022, according to its disclosure form.

James’ office did not immediately respond to a request for comment. According to JCOPE’s resolution, it would be up to her to decide whether she would keep the money for the state or return it to Crown, a subsidiary of Penguin Random House.