Cuomo book scandal: Governor may face criminal investigation over alleged use of state resources

Cuomo Investigation

ALBANY, N.Y. (WROC) — Gov. Andrew Cuomo may face another investigation from the New York Attorney General’s office over whether improper use of state resources were used for his COVID-19 book published last year.

This follows an authorization from New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli to New York Attorney General Letitia James to use her office’s power to open an investigation into the governor’s book.

“Allegations have recently emerged that public resources may have been used in the development and promotion of the governor’s book,” DiNapoli wrote in a letter to James dated April 13.

The comptroller went out to request the attorney general investigation the allegations further.

Comptroller’s letter to the attorney general

Officials from the attorney general’s office said it received the referral letter from the state comptroller but didn’t comment further. 

During Monday’s coronavirus briefing, the governor said that he asked some people who he mentioned in the book to “review” it. The governor also said the money made from book sales would be revealed in the the forthcoming release of his tax return.

Promotional efforts for Gov. Cuomo’s book were halted in March following the state’s nursing home scandal, as well as allegations of sexual harassment and inappropriate behavior on behalf of the governor.

The New York Times previously released a report earlier this month that claimed Gov. Cuomo used trusted aides and junior staffers to help with the manuscript, full-scale edits and clerical work for his new book — which could possibly be a violation of state law.

That law prohibits the use of public resources for personal gain.

Cuomo’s top aide, Melissa DeRosa, was involved in pitching the book and editing early drafts. Another top aide, Stephanie Benton, asked assistants to print portions of the draft of the book and deliver them to Cuomo at his Executive Mansion in Albany.

According to the report, Richard Azzopardi, a senior adviser to the governor, said that Ms. DeRosa and Ms. Benton volunteered on the project, which would be consistent with ethical requirements of the state.

Check back with News 8 WROC as we will continue to update this developing story.

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