ALBANY, NY – State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli has granted State Attorney General Tish James the power to conduct a criminal investigation into Governor Andrew Cuomo’s book contract.
“Allegations have recently emerged that public resources may have been used in the development and promotion of the governor’s book, ‘American Crisis: Leadership Lessons from the COVID-19 Pandemic,’ DiNapoli wrote in a letter dated April 13. .
Published reports indicated that the governor had received an offer of more than $ 4 million for the book. He declined to say how much he was paid, adding that the information will appear on his tax return, which he will make public.
The Comptroller instructed James to investigate any “indictable offense … including, but not limited to, the writing, editing, sale and promotion of the Governor’s Book and any related financial or business transactions. He gave James “the power to prosecute the person (s) suspected of committing” any felony or misdemeanor “related to the book.
The letter was first reported by the New York Times.
Numerous stories in recent weeks have detailed the overlap between state employees working for Cuomo and those involved in the production of the book, which was released last fall. At least twice, staff were asked to print drafts at the State Capitol and bring them to the Executive Mansion. After the book was published, staff would have helped send autographed copies to the governor’s fans.
Cuomo and his team have said repeatedly that all staff work on the book is completely voluntary and therefore permitted by state law.
The Attorney General usually needs a reference another official to investigate alleged wrongdoing by officials such as the governor. James already received a recommendation de Cuomo to launch an investigation into the sexual harassment allegations.