A state judge ruled this week that the Joint Commission on Public Ethics did not act within the law when it ordered Governor Andrew Cuomo to repay more than $5 million in profits from his book.
The legal victory comes as the battle over profits from his pandemic book deal continues.
The judge ruled that the Commission did not act within the law when it ordered Cuomo to repay the $5 million because it didn’t hold a hearing when the former Governor could defend himself.
“As we’ve said all along, everything – the AG’s report, the Assembly, and now JCOPE – has been about politics – the facts and the law be damned – and every time one of these cases goes before a neutral arbiter, the law prevails. As the court rightly pointed out, JCOPE – clearly in an attempt to settle petty political grievances – violated its own laws and procedures. Every commissioner and staff member who went along with this farce should be ashamed, embarrassed, and not be allowed within 10 feet of a courtroom,” Rich Azzopardi, spokesman for Cuomo said.
JCOPE has since disbanded and the judge left the door open for New York State’s ethics commission to penalize Cuomo down the road.
That won’t come immediately though.