Protest satirizing the book, March 2021, NYC
Michael M. Santiago / Getty Images
New York Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli asked State Attorney Letitia James to investigate allegations that Andrew Cuomo used government resources in the “development and promotion” of his book on the coronavirus pandemic.
Attorney General James’ office yesterday received the request to investigate the Democratic governor, confirmed its spokesperson, who said only that “We will not comment further on an ongoing investigation at this time.”
The attorney general’s office has the authority to conduct civil investigations. However, you need a referral from certain state entities to conduct a criminal investigation, including the governor himself, the state comptroller, or local district attorneys, he said. CNN.
It is a new scandal that has joined the long list of veteran Governor (D) Andrew Cuomo, reluctant so far to resign.
The state’s top-secret ethics panel – Joint Commission on Public Ethics (JCOPE) – had already suggested a few days ago that it was now also investigating formal complaints that Cuomo used government personnel to help him write his criticized memoirs praising his management during COVID, published in October under the title “American Crisis: Leadership Lessons from the COVID-19 Pandemic”, with his photo on the cover.
Previously Cuomo had been pointed out, in chronological order, supposedly: discharge elderly patients from hospitals, which has been linked to thousands of underreported coronavirus deaths among nursing home residents, employees and visitors; sexually harassing women; and to use their influence to privilege the access of those close to them to coronavirus tests last year.
Several current and former employees of the governorate have affirmed to the Times Union that they “did not volunteer” as stated, and that their work on Cuomo’s book was “expected”, despite not being an official assignment. “It was not optional,” said an anonymous former assistant. “It was considered part of his job… Everyone knew that you did what was asked of you and opting out was never really an option. “
The handling of Cuomo’s book was problematic from the beginning, Commissioner Gary Lavine previously stated. “This it was illegal in my opinion… Legislators appointed to JCOPE did not get the information. It is incorrect. It is inappropriate ”.
When cuomo published the book, at the height of its popularity in polls, was described in its press release as a “remarkable portrait of leadership during the crisis and a stark history of heartbreaking decisions that point the way to a more secure future for all of us ”.
Many relatives of the deceased immediately criticized the book’s release and some did a symbolic burn in brooklyn, Calling him inconsiderate, smug and hasty, while the pandemic continued and still wreaks havoc.
In Cuomo’s management on COVID-19 it was learned that limited his contacts with the federal government to discuss solutions, in the middle of their fights with then-president Donald Trump, still being NY by far the state most affected by the pandemic, in deaths and economic losses.
During autumn, State Attorney James claimed that the Cuomo government was not illegally obstructing the disclosure of information repeatedly requested from Washington by the Department of Justice (DOJ), on deaths in the elderly. But this year James did order an investigation into allegations of sexual harassment against the governor.
In March, the publisher Crown Publishing Group stopped promoting the book, citing allegations that the governorate had covered up COVID-19 deaths linked to nursing homes
We must subpoena Cuomo and Crown Publishing to hand over the book deal contract to determine how Cuomo was motivated by personal profits as he ordered his top aides to deflate nursing home death numbers. https://t.co/9NPyWKo5pb
— Ron T. Kim (@rontkim) April 19, 2021
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.