First New York taxpayers unwittingly paid to help him write his $5.1 million pandemic memoir — now they are paying for his luxe retirement.
Disgraced ex-Gov. Andrew Cuomo began collecting a lifetime $50,000 annual state pension — a week after a state Legislature panel found he used government resources to write the book that made him rich.
The exiled former three-term executive — who resigned in August as he faced impeachment amid a sexual harassment scandal and probes into his handling of COVID nursing home deaths and the use of government resources to write his book — started collecting his gross monthly $4,219.11 pension last month with the New York State and Local Retirement System, a spokesman with state Comptroller Tom DiNapoli’s office confirmed.
It adds up to an extra $50,629 a year in the millionaire-Cuomo’s pockets.
An Assembly investigative report made public last week found Cuomo, “utilized state resources and property, including work by Executive Chamber staff, to write, publish and promote his book” — a project for which he was guaranteed at least $5.1 million in personal profit.
Cuomo filed his retirement papers in August, when he stepped down under the threat of impeachment after a devastating investigative report by state Attorney General Letitia James’ office concluded that he mistreated as many as 11 women, and harassed several female workers — including a state trooper assigned to his security detail.
He accumulated 15 years of government service to qualify for a pension — including four years as state attorney general and then nearly 11 years as governor.
Cuomo, who earned $225,000 as governor, turns 64 on Dec. 6.
Cuomo can cumulatively receive more than $1 million in pension benefits if he lives another 20 years.
Under current law, neither resignation or impeachment for alleged misconduct bars eligibility from obtaining a pension for state service. Only a felony conviction can trigger pension forfeiture.
The Albany County sheriff filed a misdemeanor criminal complaint against Cuomo last month after executive staffer Brittany Commisso accused him of groping her in the executive mansion last year. Cuomo said the incident never happened.
But critics say Cuomo shouldn’t get a pension because he hasn’t been held fully accountable for the deaths of nursing home residents during the the early days of the coronavirus pandemic.
“Only in New York could you kill thousands of seniors, cover it up and get paid handsomely to do it,” said Tracey Alvino, whose dad, Daniel, was infected with COVID-19 in a Long Island nursing home and later died.
“Cuomo absolutely should not get a pension,” added Alvino, who previously called Cuomo’s controversial $5.1 million COVID book deal “blood money. ”