Cuomo's Pandemic Book May Get Review by NY Attorney General (Getty)
Patricia Hurtado and Keshia Clukey Monday, 19 April 2021 05:36 PM
New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli called for a criminal probe into whether Gov. Andrew Cuomo improperly used government resources when he wrote and promoted his book, “American Crisis: Leadership Lessons from the Covid-19 Pandemic.”
DiNapoli asked New York Attorney General Letitia James in an April 13 letter to investigate if any public resources were used in the development and promotion of the governor’s book. That includes the use of government employees or resources for personal purposes, private business or other non-governmental business during the drafting, editing, sale and promotion of his book, he said.
“I further confer to you the authority to prosecute the person or persons believed to have committed the same any any crime or offense arising out of such investigation,” DiNapoli said in the letter to James, which was reviewed by Bloomberg News.
The New York Times last month detailed how Cuomo used staffers and aides to work on his book. A Cuomo spokesman has previously said that any work done by the governor’s staffers was voluntary and that some minor work may have been “incidental” and “done on their own time.”
James’s office didn’t have an immediate comment on DiNapoli’s request. The New York Times previously reported about the letter.
Asked at a Monday briefing whether staffers worked on his book, Cuomo said, “some people volunteered to help on the book.” He said he wanted to make sure people mentioned in the manuscript were “OK with the mention” and make sure it “represented what they did and the facts correctly.”
Cuomo declined to respond when asked how much money he made on the book and that he publicly releases his personal income taxes every year.
“You will see everything you want to see in the personal income taxes,” he said. “I’ve released my personal income taxes for the past 20 years. And I will do that again this year.”
Cuomo is already under investigation by lawyers overseen by the Attorney General over sexual misconduct allegations and claims of workplace impropriety, which he has denied. The state Assembly is also conducting a wide-ranging impeachment investigation over Cuomo’s conduct. Separately, Cuomo is facing a federal inquiry into his administration’s reporting of Covid deaths of nursing home residents.
Cuomo’s approval rating has sunk to its lowest point since he took office in 2011, with only 40% of New York registered voters having a favorable view of him, according to a Siena College poll out Monday.