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Andrew Cuomo’s Deal Sinks Like the Titanic – In Less Than 30 Days, Disgraced Former Governor Must Return $5M For Book Deal
By Ben Dutka|December 15, 2021
Andrew Cuomo’s Deal Sinks Like the Titanic – In Less Than 30 Days, Disgraced Former Governor Must Return $5M For Book Deal

When former New York Governor Andrew Cuomo resigned in August, his problems were far from over. Many railed against the fact that he’d be getting his pension, for example.

Then there was his controversial $5.1 million book deal, which critics claimed shouldn’t be published. Ethically speaking, Cuomo dissenters said the disgraced former leader’s deal should be nixed.

Well, they’re getting their wish — though Cuomo’s team is going to fight the decision.

Following Cumo’s resignation, the Joint Commission on Public Ethics (JCOPE) started to examine his book deal. And in October, the group approved an official investigation into the authorization of the deal.

This prompted plenty of backlash and scrutiny on both sides.

Attorney General Letitia James issued at least one subpoena in September for any records involving the deal: specifically, they wanted to find out if any public resources were used to develop or promote Cuomo’s book.

They may have acquired the information they needed, because now Cuomo’s $5M payoff is officially dead. At least for now.

Via Washington Examiner:

Former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has been ordered to return the money received from his book deal to the New York attorney general’s office within 30 days.

Cuomo’s book, American Crisis: Leadership Lessons from COVID-19 Pandemic, is now a big question mark.

JCOPE voted 12-1 that the deal should be scrapped, and Cuomo should return the money. Of course, this is after at least 11 women claimed the former governor had sexually harassed them in recent years.

From an ethics standpoint, it certainly seems in bad taste to let the deal stand.

However, Cuomo’s attorney, Jim McGuire, plans to fight, claiming JCOPE’s decision is “unconstitutional”:

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.

Should they seek to enforce this action, we’ll see them in court.

Some say JCOPE might not have the authority to order Cuomo to return that $5M. For example, Albany-area lawyer David Grandeau says that authority “doesn’t exist in statute.”

It’s also interesting to note that JCOPE’s decision is the opposite of its original decision.

On September 14, the board voted to allow the deal to stand. Then on October 19, they voted again, and this time they decided to nix the book deal agreement by a 7-2 vote.

But they needed 8 votes to get the move to pass, and now they supposedly have those votes. That’s why Cuomo now has one month to cooperate and return the money he received.

He will undoubtedly fight the decision, though, as his attorney claimed. So it’s possible that though the book deal has stalled, it’s not completely dead.

Cuomo has maintained his innocence since the harassment scandal erupted earlier this year. He has continued to deny all the allegations, and further claims he never violated any ethics rules.

There’s little doubt that the former Governor has his fair share of detractors, but he’s not about to give up his $5 million so easily.

Still, at least those who wanted Cuomo out of the Governor’s office got what they wanted — he’s definitely gone, and there’s no way he’s getting back in, so many say this is a significant victory.

Key Takeaways:

  • Former Gov. Andrew Cuomo has 30 days to return the $5.1 million he received for his book deal.
  • AG Letitia James and the Joint Commission on Public Ethics voted 12-1 against Cuomo.
  • Cuomo’s attorney says they’re fighting back, and some legal experts say JCOPE doesn’t have the authority to order Cuomo to return the funds.

Source: Washington Examiner

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Ben Dutka
Ben S. Dutka is a journalist, writer and editor with over two decades of experience. He has worked with three newspapers and eight online publications, and he has also won a Connecticut short story contest entitled Art as Muse, Imaginary Realms. He has a penchant for writing, rowing, reading, video games, and Objectivism.
Ben S. Dutka is a journalist, writer and editor with over two decades of experience. He has worked with three newspapers and eight online publications, and he has also won a Connecticut short story contest entitled Art as Muse, Imaginary Realms. He has a penchant for writing, rowing, reading, video games, and Objectivism.
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