ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — JCOPE—the Joint Commission on Public Ethics, tasked with overseeing government ethics in New York— has voted for a resolution ordering former Governor Andrew Cuomo to hand over the amount of money he was paid for his book to the New York State Attorney General’s Office. The Attorney General’s Office will then decide where that money will go.
In November, JCOPE voted to rescind prior approval for Cuomo’s book, “American Crisis: Leadership Lessons from the COVID-19 Pandemic.” The book, which grabbed a reported $5.1 million payday for Cuomo, was reportedly written at least in part by state employees during their off-hours.
JCOPE voted 12-1 for the resolution. Jim McGuire, a lawyer who Cuomo spokesperson Rich Azzopardi says represents Cuomo on matters involving the book, said:
“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. Should they seek to enforce this action, we’ll see them in court.”
The way the Cuomo administration handled the book deal, including its handling of nursing home death data and its position on staff volunteering to work on the project, had drawn criticism.