May 17, 2021
From Assemblyman Phil Palmesano:
“Today it was released to the public that Gov. Cuomo made over $5 million on his book promoting his so-called “leadership” that was written in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. This is outrageous and completely unacceptable. Gov. Cuomo and his staff changed important nursing home data in public reports and refused to answer serious questions from lawmakers, the media and family members who lost loved ones, while at the same time withholding nursing home deaths from the public.
We later found out the governor’s taxpayer-funded staff worked on his book as they negotiated his $5 million book deal. This is unconscionable and an affront to the taxpayers of New York but, most importantly, adds insult to injury to the families of the more than 15,000 nursing home residents who lost their lives.”
From Senator George Borrello:
“This news adds great urgency to the ongoing investigations surrounding this deal. The role that a financial motive played in the nursing home cover up needs to be fully investigated, as do the reports that its development involved the improper use of state staff and resources. Despite promising to donate the proceeds to COVID relief, just one-third went to charity. The notion of profiting from a tragedy that took the lives of thousands of New Yorkers is unseemly and an affront to those who lost loved ones to this deadly virus. As I said back in March when I introduced legislation, S.5601, to prevent elected officials from publishing books about their leadership in office while still holding that office, this isn’t a free speech issue, it’s an anti-corruption issue. Even if no laws were broken, the glaring conflicts of interest involved here demand action. I urge my colleagues in the Senate to take up my legislation before the end of session so we can give New Yorkers the accountability they deserve in their elected leaders.”