New York state's ethics commission on Tuesday failed to muster enough votes to revoke approval of a $5.1 million book contract for ex-Gov. Andrew Cuomo as scrutiny over the panel's handling of the deal continues.
The Joint Commission on Public Ethics (JCOPE) was a vote short of rescinding approval for the book, "American Crisis: Leadership Lessons from the COVID-19 Pandemic," which Cuomo released last year.
Resciding approval for the book could have led Cuomo to re-apply for approval or have the commission attempt to claw back the money he has been paid for the book.
The commission earlier this month approved an internal investigation into how approval for Cuomo's book and the multi-million dollar contract was given last year. The panel has come under scrutiny for its ties to Cuomo, including its failure to launch an investigation into his former close aide, Joe Percoco, who was convicted in a wide-ranging bribery and bid rigging scheme.
Gov. Kathy Hochul and state lawmakers are considering ways of overhauling the troubled ethics commission by giving it more independence from the Legislature and executive branch of state government.
Attorney General Letitia James's office is investigating whether state resources were inappropriately used when Cuomo wrote the book last year.