Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Monday declined to reveal how much money he earned from a book released last year on his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, saying it will be reflected in his income tax filing.
At the same time, Cuomo defended the use of government workers to help him with the book, saying they volunteered their time to review it.
Cuomo's book deal with Crown Publishing has reportedly been worth $4 million. Cuomo last year said he would donate a portion of the proceeds he earned from the book to a COVID-19-related charity.
Neither the charity or the amount of money he contributed has been revealed. Cuomo has voluntarily made public his tax returns every year.
"What public official in the United States has released more taxes, personal income taxes, for a longer period of time, than I have?" Cuomo said on Monday at a news conference in New York City. "I'll bet you I have released my personal income taxes for the last 20 years. I will do that again this year and you will see everything you want to see in the personal income taxes."
The book and how much Cuomo has earned from it has come under scrutiny amid a series of controversies facing the governor, including allegations of sexual harassment and undercounting of where nursing home residents died during the pandemic.
Government workers, including top advisors to the governor, helped with the book, though the Joint Commission on Public Ethics, a government watchdog entity, told Cuomo such work would be prohibited.
Cuomo said these officials "volunteered to review the book."
One of tose officials, Jim Malatras, told Capital Tonight this month the work was done on the weekends. Malatras was the president of SUNY Empire at the time and is now the chancellor of the state's public college and university system.
"[The book is] part of the historical record, so I thought it was important to have an accurate, historical view of what actually happened," he said. "It was something that I did voluntarily."
Crown Publishing last month announced he would halt promotion of the book, "American Crisis: Leadership Lessons from the COVID-19 Pandemic."