Ethics panel seeks probe into its own approval of $5.1M Cuomo COVID-19 book deal

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The state’s ethics oversight body will hire outside counsel to investigate its own approval of disgraced former Governor Andrew Cuomo’s $5.1 million pandemic book deal.

The Joint Commission on Public Ethics (JCOPE) met for a special virtual and almost entirely closed-door meeting Tuesday, Oct. 5, to vote on a resolution to launch an inquiry into the “facts, circumstances, policies, and practices,” that led to the commission’s approval of Cuomo’s book “American Crisis,” said commissioner David McNamara at the brief public portion at the beginning of the meeting.

“We have one item of business on today’s agenda and I think the public deserves a brief statement regarding what that item of business is,” McNamara said.

As he laid out the resolution he was cut off by JCOPE Chairman Jose Nieves — who was just appointed to the leadership post by Governor Kathy Hochul Monday — to move into “executive session,” thereby shielding their discussions and vote from the public view.

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