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Cuomo Is Ordered to Forfeit $5.1 Million in Book Earnings

ALBANY, N.Y. — Former Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo was ordered to turn over roughly $5.1 million in proceeds from his 2020 pandemic memoir within 30 days, after a state ethics board found that he had run afoul of state ethics laws.

The board, the Joint Commission on Public Ethics, directed Mr. Cuomo on Tuesday to relinquish the money to the state attorney general’s office, and authorized the office to enforce the collection.

Mr. Cuomo has vowed to fight the resolution, which owing to its unique circumstance would seem to have little precedent, 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,” said Jim McGuire, a lawyer for Mr. Cuomo. “Should they seek to enforce this action, we’ll see them in court.”

The order, which is sure to set up a protracted legal fight, could be complicated by the fact that Mr. Cuomo already donated $500,000 of the book’s proceeds to charity, and placed another $1 million in a trust for his daughters.

This is the commission’s latest attempt to litigate the approval of Mr. Cuomo’s pandemic memoir, “American Crisis: Leadership Lessons from the Covid-19 Pandemic.”

The ethics panel previously found that Mr. Cuomo misrepresented the subject of the book, and how far along it was, in his request.

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