Former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo was ordered Tuesday to give up $5.1 million in proceeds from his book on his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Joint Commission on Public Ethics directed him to turn over the money from “American Crisis: Leadership Lessons From the COVID-19 Pandemic” to the state attorney general’s office within 30 days, according to the The Associated Press and The New York Times. The joint commission found that the book flouted state ethics laws.
Jim McGuire, a lawyer for Cuomo, told the Times that his client will fight the order.
“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,” he said. “Should they seek to enforce this action, we’ll see them in court.”
In May of this year, he scoffed at the idea that he profited off of COVID deaths with the book, telling a reporter that was “stupid.”
Cuomo resigned from public office in August, one week after state Attorney General Letitia James announced her office found he had sexually harassed 11 women. His brother, Chris Cuomo, was subsequently fired from his primetime anchor role at CNN after James’ office revealed the extent of the journalist’s strategic correspondence with the politician’s team. Chris Cuomo, too, has faced issues in the publishing world as a result: His forthcoming book was scrapped by HarperCollins following his firing.