By ALAN WOOTEN
THE CENTER SQUARE
(The Center Square) – Use of state resources and personnel are at the heart of a lawsuit filed Friday by former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo against the state’s Joint Commission on Public Ethics.
Logged in state Supreme Court in Albany, Mr. Cuomo says JCOPE has violated his constitutional rights and shown “extraordinary bias against him.” The ethics commission in December told the disgraced Democrat to turn over money gained from his book, “American Crisis: Leadership Lessons from the COVID-19 Pandemic.”
The commission in July 2020 agreed to the Mr. Cuomo book deal, believing state resources and personnel were not used. A state Assembly probe found differently; Mr. Cuomo and his team maintain any state employees involved were on personal time, not that of New York.
The three-term governor was in office from Jan. 1, 2011 to Aug. 23, 2021, eventually ousted under a cloud of sexual harassment accusations from 11 women, and a request from a fellow Democrat, President Joe Biden.
He was criticized and faced federal investigation related to covering up deaths in nursing homes during the pandemic.
The book deal aimed to showcase his abilities in leadership during COVID-19. It had been valued at more than $8 million. He was paid $3.1 million up front, and was to receive up to $5.1 million more.
Mr. Cuomo’s campaign warchest in January was reported flush with $16 million. He’s not announced intention to run for office, only that he has no plans to leave the public stage.