Despite having open investigations against him and confirmation that he harassed 11 women, New York’s Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo will have a pension of at least $50,000 per year.
Cuomo, who resigned from office after pressure from the Democratic and Republican parties, will be able to have a monthly income paid by taxpayers unless he is convicted of a felony.
Although the governor decided to resign, the State Assembly continues to consider impeachment proceedings against Cuomo, which could subsequently result in the reduction or elimination of his pension.
New York Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie reported on Monday, Aug. 16, that the House Judiciary Committee will continue to review evidence from its investigation into allegations of sexual harassment against Cuomo. According to a statement, the committee will issue a final report.
An Empirecenter article notes that with his resignation Cuomo accumulated enough service credit, i.e., years of work on the state payroll, to apply for retirement and begin collecting his pension.
Empirecenter ran the numbers based on Cuomo’s annual salary and years of service and estimated he would be eligible for $4,222 a month in retirement income or $50,662 a year for the rest of his life.
The governor, who has been embroiled in controversy for harassing 11 women, hiding figures on deaths in state nursing homes and allegedly using public resources to publish his book, could get a pension that will be paid for by all taxpayers.
State Assembly could prevent Andrew Cuomo from receiving his pension
New York Assembly lawmakers introduced a bill that would add an amendment to the state constitution to automatically revoke the pension benefit of public employees who are charged and convicted. The authors made it retroactive, so it would affect Cuomo’s pension.
The bill would have to pass both houses, in two consecutive legislative sessions, and then win voter support in a subsequent ballot.
According to the Empirecenter report, if Cuomo is convicted of a felony he could lose his pension. However, the process is arduous, as outlined by the Comptroller’s office, as charges must be filed, the defendant must be convicted, and then a separate court action must be initiated in which the State Comptroller verifies eligibility and estimated benefit, and finally, the court could issue an order to reduce or revoke the pension benefit.
Without a felony conviction and several other steps, Cuomo would be eligible for his full pension, at taxpayer expense, for the rest of his life. But if the State Assembly adds the amendment then the governor could lose the benefit.