Andrew Cuomo’s year has gotten even worse.
Despite the public humiliation of being booted out of his job as Governor of New York and seeing his brother’s career in CNN go up in flames, he probably felt at least he had that fat advance and royalty check from his publisher for his 2020 pandemic memoir called, American Crisis: Leadership Lessons from the Covid-19 Pandemic to enjoy.
Not so fast. New York’s Joint Commission on Public Ethics ordered Cuomo to pay the state $5.1 million, which is the Toal he earned from his book a year ago. He has to pay all of it back.
Why? Well, an ethics panel essentially ruled that Cuomo didn’t have the legal authority to have a side hustle that paid that well.
Here’s what the Senate Republican named David McNamara who drew up the resolution said about it.
“Gov. Cuomo is not legally entitled to retain compensation … for any form of outside activity related to the book.”
Is Cuomo rushing to cut the check to pay the state back? Hardly. Here’s what the former Gov’s lawyer said.
“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. We’ll see them in court.”
It’s not as tidy and straightforward as Cuomo’s critics and enemies are hoping this would be because Cuomo donated $500,000 of the book’s proceeds to charity. And there there is the other messy detail of the $1 million he put in a trust for his daughters.
The state doesn’t care – they are giving Cuomo 30 days to send over the $5.1 million.