Hochul’s ethics chair protects Cuomo’s $5.1 million deal

Meet the new ethics boss, same as the old boss!

Gov. Kathy Hochul’s hand-picked chairman of the embattled Joint Commission on Public Ethics cast the deciding vote Tuesday that blocked action to rescind the agency’s prior approval of disgraced ex-Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s controversial $5.1 million COVID-19 book contract.

Eight votes of the 14 member JCOPE are needed to pass a motion or resolution.

But the motion introduced by Commissioner Gary Lavine garnered just seven votes of the nine commissioners present, while just two, including chairman Jose Nieves, voted no.

In another move that raised eyebrows, three other commissioners who were present for the start of the meeting

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