ALBANY, N.Y. — Former Gov. Andrew Cuomo was ordered by New York’s ethics commission Tuesday to give up the millions he was paid to write a book about his response to the pandemic.
An attorney for Cuomo immediately called the action unconstitutional and promised a fight.
Cuomo was directed to turn over proceeds earned from “American Crisis: Leadership Lessons from the COVID-19 Pandemic” within 30 days under a resolution approved 12-1 by the Joint Commission on Public Ethics.
The order came a month after the commission voted to rescind approval of Cuomo’s $5.1 million book deal.
Cuomo wrote and published the book in 2020. It centers on how he led the New York State government through the COVID-19 pandemic. But as Cuomo was writing the book, reports emerged that he attempted to cover up the number of COVID-19 deaths that occurred in nursing homes early on in the pandemic.
Deaths at nursing homes spiked early on during the pandemic after Cuomo barred nursing homes from refusing patients who had tested positive for the virus in an attempt to open up hospital beds. Health experts believe the move allowed COVID-19 to enter nursing homes and circulate among a vulnerable population.
Cuomo then allegedly asked aides to reclassify some of those deaths in an attempt to keep nursing home deaths lower.
Cuomo resigned in August amid findings he sexually harassed 11 women.