Former Cuomo staffer files criminal complaint over sexual harassment case – NBC New York


Former Cabinet Member Andrew Cuomo identified in Attorney General’s investigation as “Executive Assistant No. 1” filed a criminal complaint with the Albany County Sheriff’s Office, a sheriff’s spokesperson confirmed on Friday .

The complaint was filed a day earlier and, if the allegations turn out to be true, the governor could be arrested. Attorney General Letitia James had noted that her investigation was civil, but opened the door for other agencies to investigate behavior she characterized as criminal in nature.

In response to the latest development, Cuomo’s advisers referred News 4 New York to a section of their 85-page legal response that states, “This claim is false, as the Governor has repeatedly and unequivocally stated. “

His legal team has scheduled a press conference at 3:30 p.m. Friday to discuss the attorney general’s report.

The Albany District Attorney’s Office, meanwhile, said it was aware of “media reports of formal complaints” filed in connection with the investigation, but would not confirm the reports or disclose. nor would disclose any additional documents or information in the matter.

“This is an ongoing case which is under review,” the statement said.

The likely next steps in the investigation are to obtain statements made by the unidentified Executive Assistant # 1, statements she made to two other Cuomo staff (identified as Executive Assistant # 2 and Executive Assistant). # 3) about Cuomo’s behavior and alleged groping, and Executive Assistant # 2’s boyfriend, an FBI agent according to the attorney general’s report, who advised her to get a lawyer.

It will probably take a while. The prosecutor will likely want to determine which specific laws under New York State criminal law the governor might have violated and proceed accordingly.

So yes, Cuomo could be arrested, but based on typical timelines for these types of investigations, it will almost certainly take days, if not weeks, for that investigation to be completed.

According to the independent report, the governor has engaged in what they call a pattern of inappropriate behavior dating back to late 2019 involving Executive Assistant No.1.

The report says the behavior included “close and intimate hugs; kisses on the cheeks, forehead, and at least one kiss on the lips; touching and grabbing the butt of Executive Assistant # 1 while cuddling and, on one occasion, taking selfies with him; and comments and jokes from the governor about the personal life and relationships of Executive Assistant No.1, including calling her and another assistant, “mix up moms,” asking her repeatedly if she had. cheated on or would cheat on her husband, and asking him to help him find him a girlfriend. “

Ultimately, in November 2020, the governor’s behavior escalated when he hugged the woman, then allegedly ran his hand under her blouse and grabbed her chest.

The report says: “Executive Assistant No. 1 kept this incident groped to herself and planned to take it ‘to the grave’, but found herself moved (conspicuously to her colleagues in the Executive Chamber) looking at the governor said in a press conference on March 3, 2021, that he had never “touched anyone inappropriately.”

One of the reasons independent investigators say the woman did not want to report the conduct was because of what she saw happen to Lindsey Boylan after she went public with her allegations.

The report states that “from mid-December to the end of December 2020, Executive Assistant No. 1 personally witnessed what she saw as the Executive Chamber’s efforts to discredit Ms. Boylan’s allegations against the Governor. including repeatedly describing Ms. Boylan as “insane” and trying to get Ms. Boylan’s personal files to the press. “

She told investigators that efforts to discredit Boylan – which she says she personally witnessed – were led by Linda Lacewell (superintendent of financial services), Melissa DeRosa, Rich Azzopardi and Beth Garvey.

Investigators write that they found Executive Assistant No. 1 “to be credible both in the behavior and in the substance of her allegations.”

And they write: “Governor Cuomo denied a number of allegations by Executive Assistant No. 1, but we found his denials lacking in persuasion, lacking in detail, and inconsistent with the observations of many witnesses on his behavior towards Executive Assistant # 1 and other women. in the Executive Chamber.

The governor has denied all allegations involving Executive Assistant No.1 saying earlier this week, “that never happened” and that he welcomed a possible civil lawsuit against the woman because “I welcome the opportunity for a full and fair review before a judge and jury, because that just did not happen.

The New York State Assembly Judiciary Committee has given Cuomo an Aug. 13 deadline to provide any evidence he wants before the committee reviews articles of impeachment against him for the scandal of sexual harassment.

Meanwhile, the governor continued to undermine what little political support he had left, as the chairman of the Democratic National Committee and the leader of the powerful 1199SEIU healthcare workers’ union both called on him to step down.

“We are writing to let you know that the committee’s investigation is drawing to a close and that the Assembly will soon consider possible articles of impeachment against your client,” lawyers for the Assembly committee wrote to lawyers for the governor.

“Accordingly, we invite you to provide any additional evidence or written submission that you would like the Committee to consider before the end of its work. To the extent that you wish to share such documents with the Committee, please do so no later than 5:00 pm on August 13, 2021, “lawyers for Davis Polk & Wardwell wrote.

Late Thursday, Cuomo’s top spokesman Rich Azzopardi released a statement saying the governor would present his case to the Assembly.

“The governor appreciates this opportunity,” he said. “We will cooperate.”

“The Assembly said it was conducting a full and thorough review of the complaints and offered the Governor and his team the opportunity to present the facts and their perspective. The governor appreciates this opportunity. We will cooperate.

The committee is scheduled to meet next Monday. It is not known how long the impeachment process will take, although reports suggest that it could take about an additional month to complete the committee’s investigation (combined with the AG’s investigation), produce its report, and articles of impeachment and then vote on them.

Based on the tally compiled by the PA and others, there appear to be more than enough votes to remove the three-term governor. Under New York law, he would then be temporarily removed from his post pending trial, with Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul becoming acting governor.

Cuomo currently faces no less than seven county, state and federal investigations related to allegations of sexual harassment, the alleged misuse of state resources to produce and promote a 2020 book, and alleged cover-ups in COVID nursing home death data.

There are hardly any Democrats at the local, state, or national level who have not called for Cuomo’s departure.

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