After refusing for months to say exactly how much he had been paid for his memoir on leading New York through the COVID crisis — which was released last fall, while the pandemic was still very much ongoing — Governor Cuomo revealed on Monday that he is set to earn $5.12 million for the book. That’s far more than the official salary for the governor of New York, which at $225,000 is currently the highest of any governor in the country.
Tax and financial-disclosure documents filed by Cuomo’s office show that the governor earned $3.12 million in 2020 from the book and that he is slated to receive another $2 million over the next two years, the Wall Street Journal reports.
Rich Azzopardi, Cuomo’s communications director, said that Cuomo took home $1,537,508 after taxes and expenses. He donated $500,000 to United Way of New York State for the “statewide Covid relief and vaccination effort” and the remainder, a little more than $1 million, was put in a trust fund for his three daughters.
The governor’s office also released letters from PricewaterhouseCoopers, the prominent accounting firm, and United Way to support the figures.
American Crisis: Leadership Lessons from the COVID-19 Pandemic was published October 13, 2020, by Crown Publishing, an imprint of Penguin Random House. A press release announcing the book back in August called it a “revealing, behind-the-scenes account of his experience leading New York State through the COVID-19 epidemic.”
Since then, Cuomo has weathered numerous scandals over everything from altering data for COVID-19 nursing-home deaths to allegations of sexual harassment and assault, and even reports that the governor used government resources and personnel to write the book. He is currently facing an impeachment probe by the state legislature, an investigation into the sexual-harassment accusations led by Attorney General Letitia James, and calls for his resignation from politicians on both sides of the aisle. The Wall Street Journal reported that James’s office will also look into the book’s production as part of its overall investigation.
A spokesperson from Crown Publishing told the Times not long after the nursing-home reports began emerging that there were currently “no plans” to reprint American Crisis or release it in paperback as a result of the “the ongoing investigation into N.Y.S. reporting of COVID-related fatalities in nursing homes.” The company has also stopped promoting the book.