NY state ethics company launches probe of its OK to Cuomo’s $5M e-book deal

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The board members of the embattled Joint Commission on Public Ethics voted unanimously Tuesday to launch an impartial probe of its personal inner operations — together with the circumstances surrounding its prior approval of disgraced ex-Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s $5.1 million coronavirus e-book deal.

JCOPE member David McNamara issued a proposed decision on the controversial Cuomo e-book contract earlier than the ethics board went into its personal session.

“I think the public deserves a brief statement regarding what the item of business is, to consider and vote upon a proposed resolution that would, if approved, result in the engagement of outside counsel to conduct an inquiry into the facts, circumstances, policies and practices {in regards] to Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s request for authorization to engage [into a contract] for personal profit the book `American Crisis: Leadership Lessons from the COVID-19 Pandemic,” stated McNamara, a Republican appointee on the 14-member JCOPE board.

New York Post cover from May 18, 2021.
New York Post cowl from May 18, 2021.

After getting back from government session, Jose Nieves, JCOPE’s new government director, appointed a day earlier by Gov. Kathy Hochul, issued a press release and determination confirming an impartial probe.

Andrew Cuomo. Cuomo disclosed Monday that he was paid a $3.1 million advance to write his COVID-19 leadership book last year and under his publishing contract will make another $2 million on the memoir over the next two years.
Andrew Cuomo. Cuomo was paid a $3.1 million advance to write down his COVID-19 management e-book final yr and underneath his publishing contract will make one other $2 million on the memoir over the subsequent two years.
Crown by way of AP

“In executive session, the commission voted to approve the retention of independent counsel to conduct an inquiry into the legal and procedural operations of the commission,” Nieves stated.

“That’s the resolution that has been passed today. There will be future action at a future date,” he added.

Some board members had complained that JCOPE’s employees accepted Cuomo’s profit-making e-book deal with out consulting them or having the board vote on it.

There’s ongoing state and federal investigations on whether or not Cuomo’s used authorities sources and employees to assist draft the e-book. State Attorney General Letitia James has subpoenaed JCOPE’s information as a part of her workplace’s probe of Cuomo’s e-book deal.

An impartial probe that finds JCOPE acted inappropriately in approving Cuomo’s e-book deal might immediate the ethics company to think about rescinding it and clawing again his earnings.

JCOPE final month voted to permit Cuomo to maintain the e-book earnings.