ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Former governor Andrew Cuomo has filed a lawsuit against the state’s ethics commission. It’s the latest move in an ongoing dispute over his earnings from a book about his efforts during the pandemic.
Cuomo has accused the Joint Commission on Public Ethics (JCOPE) of violating his constitutional rights. The commission has regulatory oversight over lobbyists and government officials.
JCOPE gave Cuomo approval to write “American Crisis: Leadership Lessons from the COVID-19 Pandemic” in July 2020. It was released that October, and he reportedly earned $5.1 million from the book.
JCOPE said it approved the book deal in 2020 after being told that Cuomo would not use state personnel or resources. However, a state assembly investigation found that the book was written at least in part by state employees during their off-hours.
Following the investigation, JCOPE rescinded the book’s approval. Cuomo’s team denied the allegations. The ethics commission has since ordered Cuomo to repay his multi-million dollar book advance. Once in December 2021 and again in March.