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Former Gov. Andrew Cuomo Must Return $5.1 Million From COVID Book Deal, Ethics Committee Says

ALBANY, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) -- New York state's ethics committee says former Gov. Andrew Cuomo needs to return the $5.1 million he made from his controversial book deal.

The Joint Commission on Public Ethics voted on the matter Tuesday.

In November, the committee rescinded its approval for the book, saying it originally greenlighted the project based on the promise that no government staffers would be used to help edit or produce it, but complaints later surfaced that pledge was not upheld.

The decision gives Cuomo 30 days to turn the money over to the state Attorney General.

"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's attorney said in a statement. "Should they seek to enforce this action, we'll see them in court."

The statement also said "any staffer who assisted in this project did so on their own time."

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