Governor Cuomo Stands To Earn More Than $5 Million For His Pandemic-Era Memoir

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Governor Andrew Cuomo stands to make greater than $5 million {dollars} for his pandemic-era memoir, American Disaster, which was introduced only a few months into the pandemic, on the top of his recognition. The e-book was launched in October 2020, proper earlier than the governor confronted a slew of sexual harassment allegations, and it was reported that his senior staffers misrepresented what number of nursing dwelling residents had died of COVID-19.

State officers within the govt chamber launched high line particulars of Cuomo’s 2020 tax returns Monday afternoon, revealing the e-book writer Crown Publishing paid Cuomo $3,120,000 final 12 months, with an extra $2 million to be paid out in 2021 and 2022, for a complete of over $5 million. (Stories beforehand pinned the payout at $4 million.)

State officers mentioned Cuomo donated $500,000 of these earnings to United Manner’s COVID response and vaccination efforts and put aside greater than one million {dollars} right into a belief fund for his three daughters, who Cuomo claimed did “tireless and efficient work for all New Yorkers.”

Cuomo reported incomes $217,736 in his annual wage from the state, greater than another governor within the nation earns. In complete, he made $3,593,343 final 12 months, which included $428,429 in capital beneficial properties earnings from investments. He paid $1.2 million in federal taxes for a federal tax charge of 37.33 p.c.

The writer, Crown, which is an offshoot of Random Home Publishing, has not but responded to a request for remark.

Ethics watchdogs have raised issues about whether or not Cuomo’s e-book deal influenced how his administration dealt with COVID, particularly within the months-long effort to cover the overall variety of nursing dwelling deaths from the general public. John Kaehny with the great authorities group Rethink Albany referred to as the $5 million greenback payout “appalling.”

“It places in black and white the query, ‘who was the governor working for throughout COVID? His e-book writer or the general public good?,” he mentioned.

However Cuomo’s senior aide Richard Azzopardi dismissed these issues.

“This governor labored evening and day to save lots of lives and get this state out of this pandemic,” he mentioned. “Lord is aware of the place they had been.”

Learn Extra: A Timeline Of Cuomo’s Colliding Scandals

Cuomo first spoke publicly about his e-book deal on July tenth; it was later reported that this was 4 days after the discharge of a well being division report on nursing dwelling deaths that his senior staffers had altered. Cuomo’s employees solely launched the state’s full demise toll of nursing dwelling residents in January, hours after a report from the New York Lawyer Common confirmed the undercount. Information now present that greater than 15,000 New Yorkers who had been residents of nursing houses, assisted-living amenities, and different grownup houses died of COVID-19, about 50% greater than beforehand launched tallies.

The phrases of Cuomo’s e-book deal was shrouded in secrecy for practically a 12 months, as he refused to launch particulars and didn’t reply direct questions in regards to the deal at his briefings. He had obtained permission from the ethics fee, JCOPE, to write down the e-book in between conferences of the fee’s board, that means board members by no means voted on the topic, a transfer that infuriated some.

Cuomo’s staffers helped draft and edit the e-book, elevating issues about the usage of state assets for Cuomo’s private achieve, although he has insisted staffers volunteered their time.

The phrases of the e-book deal at the moment are a part of a possible felony probe underway by New York State Lawyer Common Letitia James, which Cuomo and high staffers have dismissed as a political assault. Election-law watchdogs have additionally raised issues that Cuomo promoted his e-book on his marketing campaign’s social media and e-mail accounts, a possible violation of state legislation.

James’s workplace can be investigating the allegations of sexual harassment in opposition to Cuomo, and a number of other accussers have reportedly obtained suboenas in that investigation. Past these probes, Cuomo faces a federal probe into nursing dwelling deaths, in addition to a State Meeting inquiry that may very well be a precursor to an impeachment vote.

Cuomo’s most strident critics took the $5 million payout as additional proof Cuomo ought to resign.

“Right this moment’s information is additional affirmation of the insidious and ugly fact that Andrew Cuomo took hundreds of thousands of {dollars} from Crown Publishing to write down a e-book in the course of the pandemic, whereas households buried their family members,” mentioned State Assemblymember Ron Kim, who has been calling for his resignation for months. “Each member of this administration who contributed to falsifying life and demise information needs to be held criminally liable for defrauding the general public.”

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