Former New York Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo is still collecting a paycheck from the State of New York despite resigning in disgrace following scandals related to the COVID-19 pandemic and sexual assault allegations with nearly a dozen women.
The Niagara Gazette first reported Sunday that Cuomo received his first pension check last month in the amount of more than $4200. Cuomo’s reported annual benefits from the state amount to more than $50,000, which he will receive for the rest of his life. Cuomo will also receive a 1.4 percent cost of living increase every year.
A spokesman for the New York State Comptroller confirmed the payments to Fox News Monday. “Andrew M. Cuomo’s gross monthly retirement benefit with the New York State and Local Retirement System has been finalized and is $4,219.11,” the spokesman said. “He received his first pension payment in October of 2021.”
Under New York Law, members of the government “convicted of a felony related to their public service may have their retirement benefits reduced or revoked,” the Comptroller’s website states. However, the process is somewhat complicated. The District Attorney of State Attorney General must file a separate petition seeking the forfeiture of state benefits, only after the initial conviction. The Comptroller’s office must then verify that the individual is eligible for retirement benefits. Only then can the action proceed to trial. If the trial court orders the benefits to be revoked, the petitioning attorney must then serve the order to the Retirement System before they are mandated to comply.
So far, Cuomo has not been charged with any crimes.
The New York State Assembly released the final report of its impeachment investigation into Cuomo last Monday. As reported by The Daily Wire, the report found substantial evidence that Cuomo committed sexual harassment against multiple women, unethically used Executive Chamber employees and resources to write and publish his book on New York’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and was “not fully transparent” regarding nursing home deaths from COVID-19.
The document begins by listing the allegations against former Governor Cuomo, along with a summary of the evidence for each charge and the investigators’ findings. First and foremost, the report deals with the charges from eleven different women who worked for or with Cuomo during his tenure. “We conclude that there is overwhelming evidence that the former Governor engaged in sexual harassment,” the report asserts.
Investigators next address the charges that Cuomo violated state ethics rules in writing and publishing his memoir “American Crisis: Leadership Lessons from the COVID-19 Pandemic.”
“We have reviewed evidence demonstrating that, in contravention of the requirement set forth by the Joint Committee on Public Ethics (“JCOPE”) that ‘[n]o State property, personnel or other resources may be utilized for activities associated with the book,’ the former Governor utilized the time of multiple state employees, as well as his own, to further his personal gain during a global pandemic – a time during which the former Governor touted the ‘around-the-clock’ state response to the crisis,” the report found.
The report also alleges that Cuomo misrepresented information about the impact of COVID-19 on nursing home residents in New York. The investigators found that the Executive Chamber “substantially revised” a report by the New York State Department of Health, the revisions “largely intended to combat criticisms regarding former Governor Cuomo’s directive that nursing homes should readmit residents that had been diagnosed with COVID-19.”