New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo will be paid more than $5.1 million for his book about governing during the pandemic, his office said Monday.
The Democrat, who is being investigated on charges of sexually harassing multiple women and of covering up COVID-19 deaths at nursing homes, was paid a $3.1 million advance for his book, according to his tax returns.
His office said Mr. Cuomo is due another $2 million in book income over the next two years.
Nick Langworthy, New York state Republican Party chairman, said Mr. Cuomo should donate every penny of his earnings “to the families of his victims.”
The governor’s office said Mr. Cuomo donated $500,000 of his book profits to the United Way of New York State.
“Andrew Cuomo’s corrupt, disgusting book deal was paid with $5.1 million of blood money on the graves of 15,000 dead seniors,” Mr. Langworthy said, referring to a Cuomo order in the early days of the pandemic.
That order told nursing homes and elder-care facilities that they could not discriminate against people with COVID-19, effectively meaning that older people infected with the disease were set among, and locked down with, the population most vulnerable to the virus.
“He wrote a book of lies and committed multiple crimes in the process. His grotesque actions throughout this pandemic have made him a national disgrace. There will be no justice until he is prosecuted and removed from office,” Mr. Langworthy said.
Mr. Cuomo had refused to say how much money he made from writing “American Crisis: Leadership Lessons From the COVID-19 Pandemic,” published in October by Crown Publishing Group, a division of Penguin Random House.
He was criticized when the book came out for diverting some of his attention from the pandemic response, choosing to write the book instead. The criticism intensified when it was learned that some of his staffers also worked on the book.
The disclosure of his Mr. Cuomo’s lucrative deal came Monday with the filing of his mandatory financial disclosures to a state ethics agency.
State comptroller Thomas DiNapoli has authorized New York Attorney General Letitia James to investigate the role that some of Mr. Cuomo’s aides played in the “drafting, editing, sale and promotion” of the book.
Ms. James also is conducting a probe into accusations by at least 10 women, several of whom worked for Mr. Cuomo, that he sexually harassed them. Four women have received subpoenas to testify under oath in the probe.
Cuomo spokesperson Richard Azzopardi has repeatedly said that state employees who helped with the book did so on their own time in a “volunteer” capacity.
Mr. Azzopardi said Monday that after taxes and expenses, Cuomo had netted $1.5 million on the book last year.
The state’s ethics commission approved Mr. Cuomo’s request to write the book last summer, but only if he followed several conditions, including making sure it was written on his own time and not using state property, personnel or other resources for “activities associated with the book.”
The governor was also barred from advertising, promoting or endorsing his book when performing his state duties.
John Kaehny, executive director of pro-transparency group Reinvent Albany, has called for Mr. Cuomo to release his full contract with the book publisher so the public knows about potential royalties and whether the Democratic governor will receive additional compensation if more copies of his book are sold.
• This story is based in part on wire service reports.