Ex-Gov. Cuomo’s Spokesman: ‘Political Hypocrisy, Duplicity’ on Ordering Book Money Returned

The spokesman for disgraced ex-New York Democrat Gov. Andrew Cuomo fired back at the New York ethics commission ordering Cuomo to give up millions of dollars for his book on his coronavirus pandemic response.

“This is political hypocrisy and duplicity at its worst,” Cuomo spokesman Rich Azzopardi wrote in a statement, Fox News reported. “Gov. Cuomo received a JCOPE opinion and advice of counsel stating that government resources could not be used – and they weren’t – and any staffer who assisted in this project did so on their own time, which was reflected on their timesheets.”

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.

Azzopardi’s statement blasted New York legislature leaders and successor Democrat Gov. Kathy Hochul for creating “a new standard whereby government staffers cannot volunteer their own time for non-governmental purposes, they should all be equally prosecuted under the same standard and be forced to repay the state for volunteer work on their reelection campaigns.”

The order came a month after the commission voted to rescind the ethics approval it had given Cuomo before he entered into the $5.1 million book deal.

“American Crisis” was published in October 2020, months before Cuomo resigned amid findings he sexually harassed 11 women.

“JCOPE’s actions today are unconstitutional, exceed its own authority and appear to be driven by political interests rather than the facts and the law,” Cuomo attorney Jim McGuire said in a prepared statement. “Should they seek to enforce this action, we’ll see them in court.”

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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