CNN suspends Chris Cuomo for 5 days without pay for violating network ethical guidelines

CNN has suspended Chris Cuomo for five days without pay for violating the network’s ethical guidelines when he advised his friend and former boss, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D), during the probe into the governor’s administration, the network confirmed Tuesday.

The investigation into Cuomo’s family had no relationship to Cuomo’s day job at CNN. Cuomo was briefly CNN’s chief justice correspondent and anchored two shows on the network in the fall of 2014 while the governor was up for re-election in New York. He was informally hired to advise Cuomo following the election and has remained in regular contact with him.

In his initial statement announcing the suspension, CNN said that Cuomo’s behavior had been in violation of his “code of conduct.”

“Chris’ actions are inconsistent with CNN’s values and the standards of journalistic integrity the network expects from its employees,” the network said. “As a result, Chris will be taking a five-day suspension without pay. CNN’s standards & practices department initiated an investigation into this matter following a complaint. The review is ongoing.”

A CNN spokesperson told The Washington Examiner in 2017 that Cuomo’s full-time salary did not represent an actual conflict of interest for Cuomo.

“Chris’ salary as chief justice correspondent and anchor is not related to his day job as governor or with any other organization,” CNN said in the statement. “As chief justice correspondent and anchor, Chris was only paid for reporting on the Justice Department for CNN and did not receive salaries from any other source. CNN’s guidelines and standards set forth that there should be clear separation of roles as described in the Code of Conduct for Staff and as is consistent with the Federal Advisory Committee Act.”

Cuomo will be released from his suspension on Thursday.

“We look forward to Chris’s return to CNN and to continue to cover the State of New York,” a network spokesperson said Tuesday night.

He is not the first of Cuomo’s colleagues to receive scrutiny over his connections to Cuomo.

In September 2017, Cuomo did not resign from his position as a special adviser to the New York City Board of Elections after The Washington Examiner reported he faced scrutiny from state ethics officials and the federal government for his ties to Gov. Andrew Cuomo. The governor moved to establish the position for Cuomo.

The state ethics commission said it was examining whether Cuomo broke state laws regarding gifts to government officials because he and his wife, Sandra Lee, hosted a 2014 fundraising reception at their home.

Cuomo told The Washington Examiner in September that he, his wife and two children attended the event.

“She’s a very committed public servant, we’re very involved in her efforts,” Cuomo said of Lee. “I continue to be in touch with her. She has asked me to serve in this capacity. I have no other plans beyond this role.”

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