Two former high New York prosecutors blasted disgraced ex-Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Tuesday for utilizing authorities staffers to assist write his $5 million book through the COVID-19 pandemic.
The authorized consultants tore into the ex-gov the day after a bombshell state Assembly Judiciary Committee report ripped Cuomo for utilizing staffers to assist compile his profitable, self-promoting tome.
“The use of employees for personal gain is inappropriate. The former governor should work out an accommodation to repay the taxpayers of the state of New York for his use of these employees,” ex-Brooklyn District Attorney Elizabeth Holtzman advised The Post.
“Cuomo was in a position of high honor and prestige. He owes it to the people of the state to make this accommodation,” stated Holtzman, a Democrat like Cuomo.
Holtzman has a historical past of taking up corrupt politicians: As a former congresswoman, she served on the House Judiciary Committee and voted to question then-President Richard Nixon.
Former state Attorney General Dennis Vacco additionally gave Cuomo’s actions a scathing evaluation — calling his use of staff sources “most likely unlawful.
“It’s highly inappropriate to use chamber staff to write a book when you are conveying to the public that they are working 24/7 to combat the pandemic,” stated Vacco, a Republican who additionally served because the US legal professional for Western New York.
“It’s a slippery slope to go down the trail of utilizing authorities sources — even when claiming staffers are volunteers — when you’re participating in profit-making exercise that solely advantages you,’’ he stated.
“The governor of the State of New York and his employees owe honest services to the people.”
The Judiciary Committee’s scathing report discovered that Cuomo’s book, “American Crisis: Leadership Lessons for the COVID-19 Pandemic,” “was the product of significant work performed by Executive Chamber staff during a time of a global pandemic requiring an around-the-clock response.”
The report famous that Cuomo was low-balling nursing dwelling deaths from COVID-19 on the similar time he was negotiating his book deal.
Critics have accused the ex-governor of hiding nursing-home fatalities to bolster his management profile and book gross sales.
Cuomo, battered by the allegations, ultimately resigned from workplace in August amid different explosive accusations — this time involving sexual misconduct in opposition to a slew of ladies.
As The Post solely reported in February, there was a deliberate resolution by workforce Cuomo to cover the true complete of nursing-home deaths, citing an ongoing probe by former President Donald Trump’s Justice Department.
Former high Cuomo aide Melissa DeRosa advised state lawmakers the workforce “froze” and sat on the numbers as a result of they feared retribution, a startling admission that triggered felony probes.
In phrases of Cuomo’s book, state Attorney General Letitia James has an open felony investigation into whether or not he violated the state Public Officers Law, which forbids public officers from utilizing state sources for private achieve.
The FBI and federal prosecutors in Brooklyn’s Eastern District even have made inquiries in regards to the book.
The state’s Joint Commission on Public Ethics final week revoked its prior approval of Cuomo’s book contract and shall be conducting an unbiased probe on the way it was authorised within the first place with no vote of the total board.
“The Assembly report makes it all of the extra crucial for JCOPE to expedite our investigation,’’ stated JCOPE member Gary Lavine.
“The Assembly report confirms my view that the commission does not yet have the full story. We need to investigate all the circumstances about the book approval.”
JCOPE is anticipated to call a regulation agency quickly to steer the probe on its dealing with of the Cuomo book.
But a Cuomo rep defended the governor’s dealing with of the book, insisting preparation didn’t affect his selections on the pandemic.
“Negotiations [on the book] did not begin until after the crisis subsided in July,” stated Cuomo spokesman Richard Azzopardi.
He additionally claimed Monday that staffers’ work on the book was voluntary and authorized, regardless of some testimony included within the Assembly report saying in any other case.
“The individuals who volunteered have been senior members within the administration and have been extremely subtle in phrases of official actions and volunteer actions and had carried out each many occasions prior to now,’’ he stated.