- New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is facing another investigation, this time on his COVID-19 response book.
- NY Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli referred a case to NY Attorney General Tish James on Monday.
- James confirmed an “ongoing investigation” into Cuomo’s use of state resources on the book.
- See more stories on Insider’s business page.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is facing yet another investigation as his third term in office remains beset by multiple ongoing scandals.
Upon a recent referral from New York Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli, New York Attorney General Tish James – who is already investigating the governor over accusations of workplace sexual harassment and an alleged groping incident – confirmed on Monday that there is an “ongoing investigation” into Cuomo’s use of state resources for his 2020 book, according to The New York Times.
Cuomo reportedly sought an advance of around $4 million for his book, “American Crisis: Leadership Lessons from the Covid-19 Pandemic.”
Earlier on Monday before news of the investigation broke, a reporter asked Cuomo how much money he received for his book and how staffers contributed to it. The governor deflected on the advance, saying his compensation for the manuscript will show up in his forthcoming tax returns.
“Some people volunteered to review the book,” Cuomo said before ending the press conference shortly thereafter.
Reports from The Times and other outlets in late March and early April raised concerns among ethics watchdogs over whether Cuomo improperly deployed his staff and used other state resources in the completion of his book, despite an explicit guidance from a state ethics board to avoid doing so.
Several of the governor’s aides reportedly convened at the executive mansion in Albany on two separate weekends to go over edits, including some who used paid time off to dedicate hours on a Friday to the endeavor, according to the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle.
Cuomo’s press office has consistently said that anyone on his staff who was consulted for fact checking the book and reviewing passages involving their work did so on their own time.
“We have officially jumped the shark – the idea there was criminality involved here is patently absurd on its face and is just the furthering of a political pile-on,” Cuomo spokesman Rich Azzopardi told The Times on Monday.
“This is Albany politics at its worst,” Azzopardi continued. “Both the comptroller and the attorney general have spoken to people about running for governor, and it is unethical to wield criminal referral authority to further political self-interest.”