New York taxpayers recently reimbursed former Governor Andrew Cuomo over half a million dollars for his legal fees.
According to campaign finance records, Cuomo’s campaign received $564,918 from the Empire State this week. This information was first reported by Politico.
The state must bear the financial burden of legal expenses incurred by present or past elected officials who are ultimately not found guilty.
Cuomo’s campaign war chest received a significant boost, with the reimbursement inflow reaching a staggering $7.8 million.
Cuomo has not officially declared his candidacy for any public office since stepping down as governor in mid-2021. However, there have been speculations about his potential interest in running for the position of New York City mayor.
According to a poll sponsored by a group associated with former GOP mayoral candidate Curtis Sliwa, Governor Cuomo would be the clear favorite if he were to face off against Mayor Eric Adams.
Ever since stepping down from his position, Cuomo has become a regular presence in the New York courts.
In addition to initiating his own legal actions against the state’s ethics panel, the 66-year-old had to defend himself against a misdemeanor forcible touching charge filed by the Albany County Sheriff and face lawsuits from his accusers, Brittany Commisso and Charlotte Bennett. Fortunately, the charge was eventually dismissed, allowing Cuomo to seek reimbursement for his legal expenses.
The reimbursements have the potential to accumulate millions of dollars.
According to Rich Azzopardi, a spokesperson for Cuomo, the blame for the former governor’s resignation, following allegations of sexual misconduct, lies with Attorney General Letitia James and her report.
“It’s unfortunate that taxpayers are paying for her abuse of power, with a sham political report and a failed campaign for governor,” laments the critic.
Cuomo denies the allegations.
The tradition of reimbursing former politicians for their legal defense dates back to the successful defense of former GOP Senate Majority Leader Joe Bruno against federal corruption charges in 2014. Even though Bruno had been out of office for six years, he was still able to recover $2.4 million from the taxpayers.
During the last reporting period, Cuomo’s campaign received additional contributions totaling just over $6,000. These contributions were solely made up of smaller amounts, with each contribution being $250 or less.