Former Gov. Andrew Cuomo may keep his profitable book deal with the help of an unlikely ally.
New York Attorney General Letitia James, whose bombshell Aug. 3 report vetting 11 girls’s claims of sexual harassment precipitated the then-governor’s resignation later that month, informed the Joint Commission on Public Ethics its Monday determination to rescind approval of Cuomo’s book deal was flawed with out “a record of the administrative process, and the statutory authority for the decision, the amount of the imposed fines and penalties, and a determination concerning the appropriate amount of disgorgement attributable to the violation of law.”
“It is therefore premature to ask the OAG to begin collection efforts before a demand for payment is made to Mr. Cuomo, or his counsel, and he has had an opportunity to address the demand,” the Thursday letter, written by the attorney general’s general counsel, Larry Schimmel, learn.
CUOMO ORDERED TO TURN OVER $5.1 MILLION FROM BOOK DEAL TO NEW YORK ATTORNEY GENERAL WITHIN 30 DAYS
Asked for remark in regards to the letter, a consultant for James informed the Washington Examiner her workplace was “letting the letter … speak for itself.”
Cuomo’s group slammed the JCOPE’s determination to revoke approval of the previous governor’s book deal, with Cuomo attorney Jim McGuire saying the ethics board’s “lawless” actions “violated fundamental constitutional rights and flagrantly exceeded its statutory authority.”
“This had nothing to do with the law and is evidence of political attacks by the appointees of Governor Hochul, Speaker Heastie and Majority Leader Stewart-Cousins. Ironically, these Hochul, Heastie and Stewart-Cousins appointees taking the position that staff cannot do non-governmental volunteer work on their personal time damns them and their own employees, who should now be held to the same standard for volunteer work on their bosses’ re-election campaigns,” Rich Azzopardi, a Cuomo spokesman, added in an electronic mail to the Washington Examiner.
On Tuesday, the JCOPE ordered Cuomo to show over the $5.1 million he acquired for American Crisis: Leadership Lessons from COVID-19 Pandemic to James’s workplace inside 30 days. The New York ethics board’s Nov. 16 vote rescinding the settlement marked a reversal of its stance simply weeks prior when an Oct. 19 7-2 vote to undo the settlement fell wanting the eight votes required for the measure to cross. The ethics company beforehand voted on Sept. 14 to permit the previous governor’s book deal to face.
Azzopardi stated the November vote confirmed the JCOPE’s members had been “acting outside the scope of their authority and [were] carrying the water of the politicians who appointed them.”
“It is the height of hypocrisy for [Gov. Kathy] Hochul and the legislature’s appointees to take this position, given that these elected officials routinely use their own staff for political and personal assistance on their own time. … They truly are a J-JOKE,” he stated.
In October, the JCOPE authorized an investigation into its authorization of Cuomo’s book deal, with even these who beforehand supported permitting the approval to face voting in favor of the impartial investigation.
The JCOPE has been the topic of scrutiny, with James issuing a minimum of one subpoena in September for its data following an April referral from Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli to analyze whether or not “public resources [were] used in the development and promotion of the governor’s book.” Cuomo insisted employees members volunteered to assist, although his workplace conceded there may very well be some “incidental” use of state assets.
Cuomo, who resigned on Aug. 24 after James launched an Aug. 3 report saying he sexually harassed 11 girls, has denied a slew of allegations of wrongdoing, together with the costs contained within the sexual harassment and ethics controversies. The New York State Assembly has apparently corroborated the findings of James’s report, unearthing a twelfth accuser in its separate Nov. 22 report.
James poking holes within the Monday JCOPE vote might mark a thawing amid the not too long ago frosty relationship between the attorney general and the previous governor. Cuomo and James, as soon as political allies, have been verbally sparring ever since James, who subsequently declared a gubernatorial run solely to drop out of the race shortly thereafter, introduced the findings of her report. In September, James slammed Cuomo for not taking “responsibility for his own conduct” after he blasted his ouster as “politics.”
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In October, Cuomo was charged with forcible touching concerning an incident that allegedly occurred on the government mansion, which he has stated “never” occurred. The former governor is anticipated to look in courtroom on Jan. 7.