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AG taps brakes on effort to seize Cuomo book profits

The Joint Commission on Public Ethics on Monday gave Cuomo 30 days to turn over all money he was paid for his book.

ALBANY, N.Y. — New York’s ethics commission has more work to do if it wants to seize the millions of dollars former Gov. Andrew Cuomo earned writing a book about the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the state attorney general's office. 

The Joint Commission on Public Ethics on Monday gave Cuomo 30 days to turn over all money he was paid for his book.

The commission concluded Cuomo had improperly gotten help from state employees on the book project.  Junior and senior staff members told investigators they were asked to perform book tasks during their work day, including transcribing dictations, printing and delivering documents, and attending meetings with agents and publishers. One senior state official sent and received 1,000 emails about the book, the legislative report said. 

“American Crisis" was published in October 2020, months before Cuomo resigned amid findings he sexually harassed 11 women.

 In a letter to the commission Thursday, the attorney general’s office said more steps had to be taken before any such order could be enforced. Cuomo's lawyer says the commission is acting outside the law.

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

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