Disgraced Democrat and former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo might have to return the millions of dollars he made from book sales after a New York ethics board revoked its approval of the lucrative book deal.
The Joint Commission on Public Ethics (JCOPE) voted 12-1 to rescind its 2020 agreement that allowed Cuomo to make nearly $5.1 million from the sales of his book, “American Crisis: Leadership Lessons from the COVID-19 Pandemic.” The vote is a reversal from its decision just weeks ago allowing the book deal to stand.
After reconsidering the deal, however, the commission concluded Cuomo’s book is “not in compliance” with the conditions listed in the commission’s initial approval letter.
“A request was made on behalf of Gov. Andrew Cuomo to the commission for approval on stated conditions to engage in an outside activity relating to the authorship of a book in exchange for monetary royalties or other compensation therefrom,” the commission said.
“[Cuomo’s office has] now disclosed to the commission state property, resources, and personnel, including staff volunteers, were used in connection with the preparation, writing, editing, and publication of the book,” the commission noted.
Rich Azzopardi, a spokesman for Cuomo, claimed the ethics board was “acting outside the scope of their authority” and accused other Democratic officials in New York of deliberately targeting Cuomo.
“It is the height of hypocrisy for [Gov. Kathy] Hochul and the legislature’s appointees to take this position,” he said, “given that these elected officials routinely use their own staff for political and personal assistance on their own time … They truly are a J-JOKE.”
The ethics board tried to rescind its approval of Cuomo’s book deal last month but it failed by one vote. JCOPE also approved an independent investigation into its authorization of the book deal after New York Attorney General Letitia James issued a subpoena in September for its records.