Cuomo Ordered to Pay Back $5 Million Book Advance

NEW YORK -
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo prepares to board a helicopter after announcing his resignation on Aug. 10, 2021, in New York. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File)

New York’s ethics commission ordered disgraced former governor Andrew Cuomo to repay the advance he received from publishers on Tuesday, the Times Union reported.

Cuomo was paid $5.1 million by Penguin Random House for his book “American Crisis: Leadership Lessons from the COVID-19 Pandemic.” Investigations from Attorney General Letitia James revealed Cuomo had state employees work on the book during work hours  for no pay, something his lawyer had explicitly told the commission would not happen.

At the meeting of the Joint Commission on Public Ethics, the commission voted 12-1 in favor of ordering Cuomo to repay the proceeds from the book in 30 days. The enforcement order is left to the state attorney general’s office, which will decide if the money is returned to Penguin Random House or the taxpayers via the State Treasury.

Previously, on November 16, the JCOPE voted to revoke its 2020 approval for Cuomo to write the book.

Cuomo’s lawyer said they would challenge the JCOPE in court.

“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,” attorney Jim McGuire said in a statement. “Should they seek to enforce this action, we’ll see them in court.”