New York’s lawyer basic has been requested to analyze potential misuse of public assets by Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) through the improvement and promotion of his ebook in regards to the COVID-19 pandemic.
State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli despatched a letter to Lawyer Normal Letitia James final week to formally request the probe. Such a request is required earlier than James can launch a legal investigation.
DiNapoli’s letter didn’t element suspicions about Cuomo’s ebook — American Disaster: Management Classes From the COVID-19 — which was revealed final October, nevertheless it did ask James to analyze any potential offenses linked to using state “property, companies or assets” for private functions by the Govt Chambers. That would come with any “drafting, enhancing, sale and promotion” of the ebook and “any associated monetary or enterprise transaction,” the letter acknowledged.
In keeping with some reviews, Cuomo was supplied as a lot as $4 million for the ebook; nonetheless, the governor has not confirmed that determine.
Prime aides and junior staffers assisted the governor with drafts, The New York Occasions reported final month. His workers additionally helped mail autographed copies to the governor’s supporters, per The Albany Occasions-Union. Some staff advised the Occasions-Union that work on the ebook was anticipated and sometimes a part of their day by day duties.
State legislation prohibits any state worker, together with Cuomo, from utilizing governmental assets to advance personal enterprise pursuits.
Cuomo mentioned some folks volunteered to overview the ebook.
“I needed to verify it represented what they did, and the details appropriately, so some folks volunteered to assist on the ebook,” he mentioned.
In a press release to the media, Cuomo senior adviser Wealthy Azzopardi mentioned the concept that there was criminality concerned in creating the ebook was “patently absurd on its face.” He additionally accused James and DiNapoli of attacking Cuomo to advance their political careers.
“Any state official who volunteered to help on this venture did so on his or her personal time and with out using state assets,” Azzopardi advised Politico.
The AG’s workplace has additionally launched an investigation into accusations of sexual harassment towards Cuomo by a number of ladies.
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