A judge ruled former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s due process was violated by a now-defunct state ethics board that tried to seize profits from his $5.1 million book deal about his "leadership" during the pandemic, which saw more than 15,000 nursing home deaths due to his directive sending sick patients back into long-term care facilities early in the pandemic.
The Joint Commission on Public Ethics concluded last year that he improperly used state resources while writing the book, “American Crisis: Leadership Lessons From the Covid-19 Pandemic” and ordered him to turn the money over to the state. The former governor sued the ethics commission, arguing his constitutional rights were being violated.
Cuomo’s aides did help him with the book, but he said they did it outside of business hours. A State Assembly inquiry found, however, that time was spent working on the memoir “during the course of normal work routines.”
“Here JCOPE issued the approval for the outside activity, then unilaterally determined wrongdoing, then withdrew the approval, and finally imposed the disgorgement penalty — all without the opportunity for a due process hearing explicitly provided for under the procedures set forth in Executive Law,” Judge Hartman wrote in her ruling.
It's unclear whether the new ethics commission will pursue the case against Cuomo over the book deal.
Ex-Gov. Andrew Cuomo has won his lawsuit against the now-defunct JCOPE, meaning he doesn't have to repay the money he got from his COVID book deal. But the judge seemed to leave the door open for the new Commission on Ethics and Lobbying in Government to impose penalties pic.twitter.com/RBLA9wXvQ8— Rebecca C. Lewis (@_rebeccaclewis) August 16, 2022