ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — The Joint Commission on Public Ethics, tasked with overseeing government ethics in New York, passed a motion Friday that orders former governor Andrew Cuomo to repay royalties from his book deal. The move is the second time the commission has ordered Cuomo to repay his earnings from the book, “American Crisis: Leadership Lessons from the COVID-19 Pandemic.”

JCOPE had also ordered an outside counsel to enforce their first order, which was placed in December. A spokesperson for the former governor said Cuomo’s team will challenge the order in court and called it a “misuse of government resources” from the commission.

“Another day, another embarrassing display of ineptitude by J-JOKE’s kangaroo court. We’ll see them in a real one. Through their political appointees, this is just another example of misuse of government resources to harass a political opponent.” 

Rich Azzopardi, spokesperson for former governor Andrew Cuomo

JCOPE gave Cuomo approval to write the book in July 2020. It was released that October, and he reportedly earned $5.1 million from the book.

An investigation by the New York State Assembly found that the book was written at least in part by state employees during their off-hours. Following the investigation, JCOPE rescinded the book’s approval. Cuomo’s team denied the allegations.

The former governor resigned from office in August following the New York attorney general’s report surrounding sexual harassment allegations against Cuomo, who was also under fire for his administration’s counting of COVID deaths in nursing homes.