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State Panel: Cuomo's Food Network Star Girlfriend Entitled To Taxypayer-Funded Perks

ALBANY, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP) - New York's government ethics board says TV star Sandra Lee can have many of the taxpayer-paid perks of being a governor's wife without requiring Gov. Andrew Cuomo's girlfriend to disclose financial information required of officials' spouses.

Spouses of legislators and top state officials must disclose some business relationships and financial interests to identify conflicts of interest.

The Joint Commission on Public Ethics expanded the perks for the state's "first family'' in a legal opinion first reported Friday by The Associated Press. The commission says Lee can stay in the governor's mansion and fly for free with Cuomo on state aircraft during official trips as well as receive police protection.

The opinion expanded the first family to include a "domestic partner'' with a common real estate holding.

Cuomo declined to comment Monday.

Lee is a personality on Food Network.

Cuomo was previously married to Kerry Kennedy.

Do you think the decision is fair? Sound off in the comments section below...

(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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