Former Gov. Andrew Cuomo made extensive use of his staff and office resources in writing his book on the COVID-19 pandemic while on his way to collecting $5.2 million in advances, with some senior state officials acting as de facto literary agents and others admitting they were working on the book at the expense of their duties in combating the pandemic, according to a report released Monday that was commissioned by the state Assembly.
The report also found “overwhelming evidence” that Cuomo engaged in sexual harassment while in office, and that his staff directly edited a state health department report on COVID-19 deaths in nursing homes in an effort to push back on criticism of Cuomo’s handling of infections in elderly care facilities.
“We have reviewed the former Governor’s challenges to the allegations, and nothing in his voluminous submissions can overcome the overwhelming evidence of his misconduct,” the report concluded on the allegations of secual harassment made against Cuomo by 12 women.
The 60-page report was a continuation of the Assembly’s impeachment investigation into Cuomo, who resigned in August, and was compiled by the law firm Davis Polk & Wardwell. The report stated it was based on accounts from more than 200 people, as well as 600,000 pages of documents, from BlackBerry messages to photographs to government documents.
Representatives for Cuomo did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The report states that Cuomo and his staffers did not comply with requests for additional evidence or interviews, despite promising participation with the impeachment investigation in public statements.
“At no time has the former Governor meaningfully complied with the Committee’s requests or cooperated with its investigation,” the report reads, adding that the Assembly’s Judiciary Committee, which oversaw the investigation, did not issue new subpoenas against Cuomo or his staff, or sue them to enforce the existing subpoenas, so as to “avoid additional expense to the taxpayers and further delay.”
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