Andrew Cuomo ordered by the ethics committee he created to turn over $5.1 million in book proceeds

andrew cuomo refuses resign
Former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo

  • Former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is in another legal entanglement.
  • This time, a state ethics board has ordered him to turn over $5.1 million from his pandemic book.
  • The committee, JCOPE, was created by Cuomo and the legislature in 2011.

In a 12 to 1 vote on Tuesday, a New York ethics board ordered former Gov. Andrew Cuomo to turn over $5.1 million in proceeds from his pandemic book.

Cuomo sought a hefty advance for his book, “America’s Crisis: Leadership Lessons from the COVID-19 Pandemic,” as COVID-19 continued to ravage the country, and the publishing deal has come under increasing scrutiny, even after he resigned from office in August.

The order from the New York State Joint Commission on Public Ethics, or JCOPE, was first reported by The New York Times.

“We are still in the meeting. Beyond confirming the 12-1 vote to require the return of the money to the attorney general within 30 days, I have nothing to add,” Walter McClure, JCOPE’s public information officer, told Insider in an email.

The commission told Cuomo he has 30 days to turn the money over to the New York Attorney General’s office.

It’s unclear whether the order is legally enforceable, and Cuomo already donated $500,000 of the book proceeds to charity, according to the Times. 

Jim McGuire, one of Cuomo’s attorneys, told the Times that the former governor will fight the order.

“JCOPE’s actions today are unconstitutional, exceed its own authority and appear to be driven by political interests rather than the facts and the law,” McGuire said. “Should they seek to enforce this action, we’ll see them in court.”

Ironically, the commission seeking the money from Cuomo was the creation of his first big campaign promise to “clean up Albany,” with the then-first term governor and the state legislature creating JCOPE in 2011.

Cuomo has clashed with the commission before, and 10 civic organizations called for JCOPE to be abolished after his former top aide Joseph Percoco was sentenced to six years in prison on ethics charges

The Albany Times-Union has chronicled Cuomo’s possible undo influence on the committee, which did not investigate him in connection to the Percoco case.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

Read the original article on Business Insider