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N.Y. ethics panel says Andrew Cuomo must give back millions in book money

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N.Y. ethics panel says Andrew Cuomo must give back millions in book money
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is seen during a news conference at One World Trade Center in New York City on June 15. File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

Dec. 15 (UPI) -- A New York ethics commission says former Gov. Andrew Cuomo must return more than $5 million he received for a book he wrote last year about his leadership amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The public ethics commission made the vote on Tuesday and said he's not entitled to keep any proceeds from the book, American Crisis: Leadership Lessons from the COVID-19 Pandemic, because it said state resources were used to help him write it.

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The ethics commission approved Cuomo's book because he said he'd write it entirely on his own time without using state resources or personnel.

The panel said Cuomo had received prior authorization for the book, which centers around his leadership of New York through the pandemic, under false pretenses.

The commission's order says Cuomo must repay the money within 30 days.

Cuomo's attorney Jim McGuire called the order unconstitutional and said the commission exceeded its authority. He promised a legal fight, which could grow complicated because Cuomo has already given some of the money he received from the book to charity.

New York Attorney Letitia James is investigating Cuomo's book deal.

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The commission's order is the latest stage of a rapid fall from grace for Cuomo this year, who resigned from office in August over accusations of sexually harassing several women.

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