Did Cuomo Violate Ethics Rules by Having Aides Help Him With Memoir?
On Wednesday, The New York Times reported that New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, used office staff to work on his memoir, American Crisis: Leadership Lessons from the COVID-19 Pandemic—which garnered a $4 million dollar book deal—in potential violation of ethics rules.
The Albany Times Union reports that when the governor had communicated plans to earn outside income from publishing a book, Judith Mogul, Cuomo’s special counsel, had advised him that no “state property, personnel or other resources may be utilized” according to New York’s long-standing ethics rules, which he had agreed to. Still, top aides like Melissa DeRosa (whose name might ring a bell if you’ve followed some of the many Cuomo scandals from earlier this year) were heavily involved in editing and pitching the book, and more junior aides were involved in typing notes for the governor and transcribing things he said, since he voice-dictated many parts of the book. The New York Times also reports that “a top aide to the governor, Stephanie Benton, twice asked assistants to print portions of the draft of the book, and deliver them to Mr. Cuomo at the Executive Mansion in Albany, where he lives.”
Cuomo spokesman Rich Azzopardi told the Times Union that the Cuomo staffers who worked on the governor’s memoir had volunteered their own time to do so, adding that there is “nothing in law or regulation that speaks to a ban on state workers volunteering for a for-profit venture — this simply is not legally a ‘thing.'” (Cuomo’s office did not respond to Reason‘s request for comment by time of publication.)
But those heading up the Cuomo impeachment investigation have decided to look into this further to discern whether state resources were improperly used for the governor to line his own pockets.
The governor has had waves of scandal washing over hi
Article from Latest – Reason.com