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Cuomo Files for $50K Retirement Benefits

Governor's resignation takes effect Tuesday
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 21, 2021 4:30 PM CDT
As Moving Day Nears, Cuomo Puts In for Retirement Pay
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo speaks Saturday during a briefing about Hurricane Henri.   (NY Governor's Press Office via AP)

(Newser) – Down to his last few days in office, Gov. Andrew Cuomo has applied for New York retirement benefits. Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul will become governor on Tuesday, and Cuomo's benefits will kick in Sept. 1, the Hill reports. He announced his resignation earlier this month after an investigation found that he had sexually harassed women. His annual retirement pay is estimated at up to $50,000, per Rochester First. That's for life, unless the legislature changes the constitution or he's convicted of a felony. There's no mechanism for taking retirement pay away because someone's been accused of something, or even for impeachment or removal, per Forbes, because those aren't crimes. Cuomo's state salary is $225,000, which is at the top end for governors nationwide. His benefits are based on his 15 years of state employment—4 as attorney general, then 11 as governor.

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The biggest chunk of Cuomo's income lately has come from his three books, per Yahoo Finance, which took a look at the outgoing governor's financial health. The second, in 2014, sold only about 4,000 copies but brought him $650,000. His book published last year, "American Crisis: Leadership Lessons from the COVID-19 Pandemic," sold fewer than 50,000 copies. But Cuomo was paid a $4 million advance, then another $1 million, which he sent half of to charity. There's no real estate known to be in his name. Cuomo doesn't say much about how he spends his money, per Yahoo Finance, but he does have a 1968 Pontiac GTO with a "1" license plate. Depending on condition, the car could be worth $27,000 to $60,000. (Read more Andrew Cuomo stories.)

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