Gov. Andrew Cuomo is expected to earn more than $5 million from his memoir about leading New York through the coronavirus pandemic, according to a new report.
Cuomo's book, American Crisis: Leadership Lessons from COVID-19 Pandemic, earned $3.12 million last year, and his contract includes another $2 million to be paid over the next two years, the New York Times reported Monday. Richard Azzopardi, a senior adviser to the governor, told the outlet the governor netted $1,537,508 from the book last year after expenses and taxes.
"From that net income, the governor donated a third to the United Way of New York State for statewide COVID relief and vaccination effort and is giving the remainder in a trust for his three daughters equally," he said.
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Fox News host Janice Dean, a frequent Cuomo critic, slammed the reported sum.
"Every New York lawmaker should be disgusted by how much @NYGovCuomo profited from his 'leadership' book," she tweeted. "It belongs in the true crimes section, and should be thrown at him in a court of law."
Cuomo's book deal has also attracted scrutiny from elected officials in recent months. Last month, state Attorney General Letitia James received a referral to conduct a criminal investigation into Cuomo's use of state resources to promote the book after a March 31 ethics complaint from a liberal watchdog group sought an inquiry into whether he violated a law prohibiting "the use of campaign funds for personal use." Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli authorized James to examine "any indictable offense or offenses," including "the drafting, editing, sale and promotion of the governor’s book and any related financial or business transactions."
The New York governor insisted members of his staff volunteered to help with the book, but his office acknowledged that there might be some "incidental" use of state resources, according to the New York Times.
Cuomo faces other scandals threatening his governorship.
The governor has been accused of directing state health officials to give special COVID-19 testing access to members of his inner circle, claims denied by Richard Azzopardi, a senior adviser to the governor, as "insincere efforts to rewrite the past" in an email to the Washington Examiner.
Cuomo has also been accused of sexual harassment by 10 women despite denying that he ever engaged in inappropriate touching. The allegations have resulted in two investigations: James is investigating the claims at the state level, and New York state Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie is directing an "impeachment investigation" to look into the matter in the Legislature.
James's investigation into claims of sexual harassment was expanded last Tuesday to look into claims that a top adviser tied counties' COVID-19 vaccine access to support for the governor, which Beth Garvey, Cuomo’s counsel, said "malign[ed] a decadeslong public servant."
In addition, the Democratic governor is under federal investigation for his handling of nursing homes during the COVID-19 pandemic after Melissa DeRosa, a top Cuomo aide, acknowledged that the governor's office hid the state's nursing home coronavirus death toll out of fear of political retribution from then-President Donald Trump.
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Facing mounting pressure from within his party to resign, Cuomo, who is eligible to seek a fourth term in office in 2022, has vowed not to step down, saying that the allegations of impropriety against him are false.
Representatives for Cuomo's office did not immediately respond to the Washington Examiner's request for comment.