A national good-government organization on Thursday filed an ethics complaint over Gov. Andrew Cuomo's promotion of his book about the pandemic last year, pointing to the use of his re-election campaign resources to sell the book.
The complaint notes Cuomo's re-election committee promoting the book through his email list when it was first released last October.
"Cuomo for New York, Governor Cuomo’s authorized committee, repeatedly promoted sales of the book on social media and in emails sent to supporters," the group stated in the complaint filed with the state Board of Elections. "Expenditures for those book promotions appear to have been made exclusively for the personal benefit of Governor Cuomo. Accordingly, an investigation of Cuomo for New York’s conversion of campaign funds for personal use is in order."
The Cuomo administration declined to comment on the ethics complaint.
The complaint filed by the group CiREW comes amid new reporting surrounding the book "American Crisis: Leadership Lessons from the COVID-19 Pandemic."
The New York Times reported Wednesday evening Cuomo's book deal with Crown Publishing may have been worth more than $4 million. Cuomo has never publicly revealed the true size of the book deal and has pledged to donate a portion of the proceeds to a COVID-related charity that has not been named. Cuomo voluntarily makes his tax return for the prior public on an annual basis.
Meanwhile, The Buffalo News reported separately the Joint Commission on Public Ethics last year in an opinion told the Cuomo administration government employees and public resources should not be used as part of the book project.
The Cuomo administration has defended the invovlement of the governor's advisors on the project, saying their time was volunteered.