N.Y. Gov. Andrew Cuomo discusses the East Side Access, a train tunnel that will connect rail yards in Queens with Grand Central Terminal, Thursday, May 27, 2021 in New York. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, Pool)
UPDATED 1:09 PM PT – Thursday, June 3, 2021
New York taxpayers are being forced to pay more than $2 million in legal fees to help Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D-N.Y.) fight off various scandals. A report by the New York Post revealed taxpayers are paying $900 an hour for Cuomo’s defense lawyer. The attorney is defending Cuomo against his latest sexual harassment allegations, the nursing home scandal and allegations he used staffers to write his book about his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Cuomo has been accused of sexual assault by multiple women, including government employees. They claim Cuomo made inappropriate comments towards them and touched them on various occasions. Cuomo has denied the allegations and said he has no plans to step down as governor.
The Democrat is also being investigated over his book deal that discusses his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, while already accumulating $5 million for it and reportedly having $17 million in his campaign war chest. When asked if he would use any of his own money to pay legal fees, Cuomo voiced it’s the state’s responsibility.
The governor said, “the way it works is the executive chamber has retained a counsel and that is a state expense. It has been in every investigation. So that’s where we are now.”
Cuomo is the highest paid governor in the U.S. with an annual salary of $225,000. Critics have said politicians shouldn’t use tax dollars to pay for legal fees and instead, should use a separate legal fund. State Assemblyman Ron Kim made a comment regarding the nursing home scandal saying, “he did this to himself. He defrauded the public. He hid life and death information.”