After announcing his resignation amid a probe into allegations of sexual harassment, Democratic New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has filed retirement paperwork that will net him $50,000 a year for the rest of his life, according to a new report.
The New York Post, citing state laws, reported that “neither resignation or impeachment for alleged misconduct bars resignation or impeachment for alleged misconduct bars eligibility from obtaining a pension for state service.”
Cuomo, who was set to run for a fourth term in 2022, has logged 15 years of service in the government: 11 years as governor, and four years as attorney general.
“So if you’re wondering, without a felony conviction and several other steps, Cuomo would be eligible for his full pension, at taxpayer expense, for the rest of his life,” Tim Hoefer, president and CEO of the Empire Center for Public Policy, told the Post.
“The Empire Center crunched the numbers based on Cuomo’s annual pay and years of service and estimated he would be eligible for $4,222 a month in retirement income or $50,662 a year for the rest of his life,” said the Post. “Currently, a public official could have his or her pension reduced or revoked if convicted of a felony under the ‘Public Integrity Reform Act’ approved by Cuomo in 2011, his first year as governor.”
But resignation doesn’t revoke a pension under the act approved by Cuomo.
In the State Assembly, a bill has been introduced to mandate forfeiture of a pension under certain circumstances, but the legislation requires a constitutional amendment, which is unlikely.
Other critics blasted Cuomo over the taxpayer-funded pension when it was first reported last week.
“The only reason I would support Cuomo getting a pension is if he donated it to the harassment victims or the nursing home families whose loved ones died from COVID because of his policies,” Tracey Alvino said, whose father was infected with COVID-19 in a Long Island nursing home and later died.
“Otherwise New York should pass a law denying a pension to someone who resigns in disgrace for misconduct or is impeached,” he said.
Cuomo also cashed in on the COVID-19 virus and pocketing $5.12 million for his memoir on the pandemic.
Cuomo’s “American Crisis: Leadership Lessons from the COVID-19 Pandemic,” published in mid-October as the pandemic still raged on in the state, came out as reports of the governor mishandling the elderly in nursing homes during the height of the virus.
“Cuomo’s contract — which he got despite his administration being accused of sending COVID-positive patients back into nursing homes, potentially spreading the deadly virus among the vulnerable elderly there — paid him $3.12 million last year and he was left with a little more than $3 million after editing expenses, according to his tax returns,” the Post reported. “He’s also set to receive another $2 million this year and next, the returns show.”
But it’s not all gravy for Cuomo. The governor — a darling of the mainstream media throughout the pandemic, which praised him for his handling of the crisis — remains under investigation for nursing home deaths that topped 14,000 and his administration’s alleged efforts to cover them up.