The New York State Ethics Board is ordering former Governor Andrew Cuomo to give up the earnings from his $5.1 million book deal.

The Joint Commission on Public Ethics (JCOPE) has given Cuomo 30 days to comply.

The proceeds from “American Crisis: Leadership Lessons from the COVID-19 pandemic” will be turned over to the State Attorney General’s Office.

Officials will then decide where the money goes, which may include the state, the publisher or another entity.

The order came a month after the commission voted to rescind approval of Cuomo’s $5.1 million book deal.

Cuomo resigned in August amid findings he sexually harassed 11 women.

An attorney for Cuomo immediately called the action unconstitutional and promised a fight.

“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," Jim McGuire said in a statement.

The New York Times reports the order could be complicated by the fact that Cuomo has already donated $500,000 of the book’s proceeds to charity and placed $1 million in trust for his daughters.

Congresswoman Claudia Tenney released the following statement on today's decision by the Ethics Board:

"Former disgraced Governor Andrew Cuomo continues to face justice. Cuomo’s ill-gotten gains from his corrupt book deal shouldn’t just be returned to the New York State coffers, they should go to the families still suffering from his negligent nursing home policies. Cuomo’s decision to return COVID-positive patients to long-term care facilities and then cover up the resulting death toll was criminal and families around our state continue to suffer as a result. The $5.1 million he now owes our state should be used by Governor Hochul to establish a victims compensation fund. It will not bring back those we lost, but it is a step toward acknowledging the undue pain and hardship that has been caused by an irresponsible governor and his corrupt cronies."

 

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