Ex-New York Governor Andrew Cuomo could be forced to return royalties earned on his $5.1 million book deal — and not just a fine — if he broke New York law, they said. officials at an ethics committee hearing on Wednesday in New York.
Cuomo’s book deal is currently the subject of an investigation by the New York Attorney General’s office and the New York State Assembly Judiciary Committee to determine whether Cuomo violated ethics rules while government officials worked on his book.
Cuomo claims his aides volunteered their time and denies the charges.
It’s likely that ex-New York Governor Andrew Cuomo (pictured) could be forced to return royalties earned on his $5.1 million book deal if he violated New York law, officials said during a Ethics Committee hearing on Wednesday in New York
Cuomo’s book deal is currently the subject of an investigation by the New York Attorney General’s office and the New York State Assembly Judiciary Committee.
During the state Senate ethics committee Wednesday, state senator Dan Stec (R-Queensbury) questioned the executive director of the Joint Commission on Public Ethics (JCOPE), Judge Sanford Berland, about whether the panel had confidence in the retrieval of the gains made from Cuomo’s memoir, “American Crisis: Leadership Lessons and the COVID-19 Pandemic.”
‘If the financial gain is significantly more than any fines or sanctions’ [that] If I get a $5,000 fine for a $5 million book deal, that’s not really a deterrent,” Stec said.
“So I guess my question, again, is hypothetical, if financial gain is significant, is there any mechanism for JCOPE to recover beyond just a standard fine or penalty, but the actual profit itself?”
Berland responded that the law provides for “a penalty that includes compensation for the compensation or benefit received by the individual.”
But he argued that the move to take back the royalties would have to be approved by a full panel of JCOPE commissioners and could pose legal problems.
During Wednesday’s state senate ethics committee, state senator Dan Stec (right) examined Joint Commission on Public Ethics (JCOPE) executive director Judge Sanford Berland (left) whether the panel had confidence in retrieving the profits that had been made. featuring Cuomo’s memoir, “American Crisis: Leadership Lessons and the COVID-19 Pandemic”
Governor Andrew Cuomo talks on a cell phone at the New York State Executive Mansion in Albany, NY on Saturday, August 7, 2021
In addition, Attorney General Letitia James’s office is investigating the case, following a criminal referral by Controller Tom DiNapoli.
Upon its October 2020 release, the book immediately became a New York Times bestseller, at a time when Cuomo was still supportive among his constituents for guiding New York through the COVID-19 pandemic.
The book was linked to the governor’s daily 2020 COVID-19 briefings during the height of the New York pandemic.
Crown Publishing offered the former governor more than $5 million for the manuscript — a risk given that Cuomo’s previous memoirs sold fewer than 4,000 hardcover copies.
Tax records show that Cuomo received most of his advance, $3.12 million in 2020, and is expected to receive another $2 million in installments over the next two years.
After allegations of sexual assault against Cuomo came to light in late February, Crown attempted to distance themselves from Cuomo, canceling plans for a paperback version and halting the promotion.
Allegations: Cuomo was accused by several women of sexual misconduct, and an investigation concluded that the governor ‘sexually harassed multiple women’
The New York Public Officer Act requires vetting and approval from the ethics body on matters related to outside earnings and prohibits elected officials from engaging in situations that benefit them.
The hearing also revealed that JCOPE executives silently agreed to Cuomo’s request to write the book without a full panel vote, leading to tensions among JCOPE commissioners.
‘We have announced a rule that has to do with applications for outside activities, so outside income. The rule requires a vote from the committee. But the book deal was not voted on, it was never even presented to us. The staff took the position that no committee vote was necessary. I will move tomorrow to withdraw the informal advice,” said Commissioner Gary Lavine.
During Thursday’s public session of the JCOPE meeting, Lavine said he plans to file a motion to revoke the approval of Cuomo’s book deal.
Cuomo would have 10 business days to reapply for approval if the measure is approved and approved.
After reviewing the application, the panel will vote at a future meeting to deny or green-light the request.
The hearing came a day after Cuomo took the Emmy he won for his primetime pandemic briefings.
Tuesday, a day after Cuomo left the governor’s mansion, the academy said it was taking back the award.
“The International Academy announced today that in light of the New York Attorney General’s report and the subsequent resignation of Andrew Cuomo as governor, it is withdrawing its special 2020 International Emmy Award,” the organization said in a statement to AFP. .
“His name and any reference to his receipt of the award will be removed from International Academy materials in the future.”
The one-time Democratic Party heavyweight won worldwide acclaim for his live-television appearances on the coronavirus as it swept across the United States in early 2020.
His performances, which came as then-President Donald Trump confused with disjointed reports of the health crisis, earned him the International Emmy Founders Award.
Past recipients of the award include Oprah Winfrey, Stephen Spielberg and Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes.