ETHICS PANEL: Ex-Gov. Cuomo Ordered To Return $5.1M Pandemic Book Profits

Note: This article may contain commentary or the author's opinion.

Oh, how the mighty have fallen! Disgraced former Governor Andrew Cuomo has been ordered by New York’s ethics watchdog panel to return the $5.1 million dollars in profits the former governor made from his book deal. In the book, the narcissistic three term governor boasted about his accomplishments in handling the deadly pandemic that ravaged the city.

The extraordinary resolution demands that all profits Cuomo made from the book be forfeited to the state. The Joint Commission on Public Ethics approved the forfeiture in a 12 to 1 vote on Tuesday, a month after the ethics agency voted to revoke its prior approval in allowing the disgraced ex-governor to earn additional income from his book titled “American Crisis.”

The resolution, drafted by commissioner David McNamara, a Senate Republican appointee, said Cuomo now “lacked the legal authority to engage in outside activity and receive compensation in regard to the book” since the Public Integrity Commission (JCOPE) rescinded its approval. McNamara stated, “Gov. Cuomo is not legally entitled to retain compensation…for any form of outside activity related to the book.”

The book ironically chronicled Cuomo’s handling of COVID-19 in New York State before the Trump administration’s “Operation Warp Speed” program was able to create vaccines within record time to combat the deadly virus. Thousands of elderly patients needlessly died because of Cuomo’s egregious policy of returning infected COVID patients back into nursing homes which spread like wildfire among the elderly population, killing almost 13,000 seniors.

Additionally, the Cuomo team purposely under-reported the dead by almost 50%, using flawed data in counting deaths at nursing homes as opposed to hospitals.

The ethics panel also recommends that all proceeds from Cuomo’s book be turned over to New York State’s Attorney General Letitia James. James is currently in the process of investigating the embattled ex-governor for a slew of misdeeds, including allegations of sexual harassment by a number of woman along with probing the nursing home deaths and subsequent cover-up.

It is ordered that by no later than 30 days from the date of this resolution, Gov. Cuomo pay over to the attorney general of the State of New York an amount equal to the compensation paid to him for his outside activities related to the book,” the resolution says.

Cuomo’s lawyer, Jim McGuire, claimed JCOPE’s action was illegal and would challenge it in court. “JCOPE’s actions today are unconstitutional, exceed its own authority and appear to be driven by political interests rather than the facts and the law,” said McGuire.

Cuomo’s attorney continued slamming JCOPE’s action, reiterating that the ethics panel was politically motivated. He continued, “Today’s action by JCOPE — following two prior failed attempts, is transparently political on its face. We look forward to vigorously contesting in court any efforts JCOPE makes to enforce this baseless and improper decision.”

Cuomo’s spokesman, Richard Azzopardi, also chimed in, saying, “These JCOPE members are acting outside the scope of their authority and are carrying the water of the politicians who appointed them.” He adds, “It is the height of hypocrisy for Hochul and the legislature’s appointees to take this position, given that these elected officials routinely use their own staff for political and personal assistance on their own time.”

It wasn’t all that long ago when “sleepy Joe” referenced Andrew Cuomo as the “gold standard” and the future of the Democratic Party…oh, how the mighty have fallen!

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