The commission overseeing ethics and lobbying in New York voted Tuesday to conduct an internal investigation into the circumstances that led to the panel approving a $5.1 million book contract for ex-Gov. Andrew Cuomo last year. 

The approval of the investigation by the Joint Commission on Public Ethics comes as Cuomo's book about the pandemic, "American Crisis: Leadership Lessons from the COVID-19 Pandemic," is also being investigated by Attorney General Letitia James's office, which is looking into whether government resources were inappropriately used to write it.

Cuomo's office in April announced he had put $1 million of the proceeds from the book into a trust fund for his three daughters and donated $500,000 to the United Way. 

The commission has come under scrutiny for its lack of independence from Cuomo during its decade-long existence, and state lawmakers have called for a complete overhaul of how ethics are regulated in state government.