News and Commentary

Andrew Cuomo Is Highest-Paid Governor In History, Despite COVID-19 Failure And Sexual Harassment Scandal
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo speaks at an event to announce five new walk-in pop-up vaccination sites for New York City Bodega, grocery store and supermarket workers amid the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic, in the Harlem section of Manhattan in New York City, April 23, 2021.
MIKE SEGAR/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

According to reports, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is the country’s highest-paid governor in history, with an annual salary of $225,000.

“With a $225,000 salary, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is the country’s highest paid governor. The next highest paid is California Gov. Gavin Newsom, who made $202,000 last year,” reported Forbes.

The scandal-embroiled governor was scheduled to make even more in 2021 — with a $25,000 raise to $250,000 per year — which would have completed a $71,000 (41 percent) pay increase over three years. “However, he opted not to take the extra $25,000,” noted Forbes.

While Cuomo chose not to take this portion of the larger raise, he did lobby Congress for a federally-funded bailout, with $23.5 billion of the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan Act going to New York State. As Forbes noted, this was $6 million more than Florida, despite Gov. DeSantis’ state having more residents than Cuomo’s.

Among the scandals facing Cuomo, the most recent involves criticism leveled against the governor for allegedly requiring staffers to work on his for-profit book detailing his COVID-19 response.

“Under New York law, Cuomo and other state employees are prohibited from using government resources for personal gain,” Fox News detailed, reporting that Richard Azzopardi, a spokesman for the already scandal-embroiled New York governor, said last week that “As is permissible and consistent with ethical requirements, people who volunteered on this project did so on their own time.”

The Daily Wire’s Ashe Schow reported in early April that “Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D-NY) was offered $4 million to write a book about his pandemic leadership — after his disastrous nursing home policy led to the deaths of thousands of patients,” noting that “Cuomo’s book, ‘American Crisis: Leadership Lessons from the Covid-19 Pandemic,’ portrayed him as a hero despite New York seeing more deaths than all but one other state (California).”

This week, The New York Times reported that the New York State attorney general has opened an investigation into Cuomo’s alleged use of state resources to write and promote the book.

News that Cuomo is the highest-paid governor in the country’s history also comes at a time when Cuomo is dealing with criticism regarding his administration’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic. Since the onset of the pandemic, Cuomo repeatedly downplayed fears, worked to retroactively protect nursing homes that failed to care for COVID-19 patients, and was the target of an FBI investigation after the New York Post reported on Secretary Governor Melissa DeRosa’s apology to Democratic legislators for intentionally hiding COVID-19 death data out of fear of federal prosecutors.

After Biden’s election, pressure continued to build on the former Democratic Party hero. In early April, Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-NY) announced the launch of his 2022 gubernatorial campaign, looking to unseat Cuomo. 

“I’ll bring the kind of relentless, fighting spirit towards helping to save our state that Cuomo reserves for multi-million dollar self-congratulatory book deals, cover-ups, abuse & self-dealing,” he stated.

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