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Cuomo girlfriend Sandra Lee excused from state financial disclosure rule

ALBANY -- New York's ethics board appears to see Food Network star Sandra Lee, legally, as a "semi-home" partner of Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo.

The state Joint Commission on Public Ethics recently decided that Lee, who is Cuomo's girlfriend and who shares a Westchester County home with him, can receive the taxpayer-paid perks of being his wife.

But a separate ruling states that live-in girlfriends like Lee, an entrepreneur who writes books and stars in TV shows about cooking, don't have to disclose financial data required of spouses.

Cuomo had no comment yesterday.

JCOPE's "2013 Ethics Filing Instructions" states under "family" that only legally married spouses need to provide financial data as part of a public official's annual financial filing.

State law doesn't prohibit spouses from working with companies even if the companies either do business with or lobby before the state.

-- AP

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