Former Governor Andrew Cuomo will have to pay back proceeds from his pandemic-era book “American Crisis,” the state’s ethics panel the Joint Commission on Public Ethics (JCOPE) ruled on Tuesday, Dec. 14.
The disgraced ex-governor has to send the money to State Attorney Letitia James’s office within 30 days, reported State of Politics.
The move comes after JCOPE pulled its past approval for the $5.1 million book deal on Nov. 16 saying Cuomo violated the panel’s terms by using staffers to help write and edit the book, despite explicitly saying the memoir would be written on his own time and without state resources.
Cuomo and his reps have repeatedly contended his staff only “volunteered” to work on the book.
However, an impeachment investigation led by the State Assembly’s Judiciary Committee published on Nov. 22 found that staffers were asked to help with the book “as part of their regular course of work,” and that superiors expected them to complete the work “like any other task.”
JCOPE granted Cuomo permission to author the book in a July 17, 2020, letter with nine conditions, including that he not use state resources on it.
A spokesperson for Cuomo did not immediately respond with a comment.