Despite the fact that New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo was paid $5 million for his book about leadership during the coronavirus pandemic and is set to host a $10,000-a-person fundraiser for his upcoming election bid, the taxpayers in the state are picking up the tab for his legal defense.
A new report published by the New York Post has stated that taxpayers are paying $900 an hour for the governor’s lead defense attorney, who is currently defending him against numerous allegations of sexual misconduct from multiple accusers, allegations that he used staffers to pen his book, and allegations that he and his staff have tried to deceive the general public by concealing the true number of deaths that occurred in nursing homes that were mandated to take in COVID-positive patients by his administration.
The total cost of his defense? Try somewhere around $2.5 million.
“The $2.5 million deal, revealed in a contract made public through a Freedom of Information Request by The Post, was struck even though Cuomo sold the rights to his coronavirus memoir for $5.1 million and has around $17 million in his campaign war chest,” the Post said in their report. “The three-term Democrat is also holding a $10,000-a-head fundraiser later this month amid an ongoing impeachment probe by the state Assembly’s Judiciary Committee.”
Cuomo, who also is paid $225,000 a year – the highest paid governor in the country – defended his use of taxpayer money to cover his legal bills.
“The state — the way it works is the Executive Chamber has retained the counsel and that is a state expense,” Cuomo said at a recent news conference, according to the Post. “That has been [the case] in every investigation. So that’s where we are now.”
At the press conference, Cuomo was asked if he was paying for any additional attorneys with his own money or from his campaign fund, to which he responded, “Not at this time.”
The New York Post then spoke with Common Cause New York executive director Susan Lerner who stated Cuomo “should be holding fundraisers in the middle of an ongoing investigation to pay off his legal fees — not to pad his war chest.”
“As Common Cause/NY has previously recommended, politicians who are subject to civil and/or criminal investigation should refrain from paying for their defense with either tax-dollars or campaign funds, and instead set up a Legal Defense Fund,” Lerner went on to add. “That way, they can transparently raise money from willing donors.”
The guy’s corruption and arrogance knows no bounds. No way the taxpayer should be picking up the tab for his legal defense funds. So not only has he possibly engaged in sexual misconduct, breaking the people’s trust, he’s also using their money to pay for his lawyers.
Wow. Just wow.